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Stock Futures Held Down by Financials

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq appear headed for a lower open Tuesday, despite another decline in crude oil prices.
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Updated from 7:56 a.m. EDT

Premarket futures were pointing to a slightly lower open for Wall Street Tuesday, as bad news from financial firms weighed on sentiment, even as crude oil prices continued to decline.

Futures for the

S&P 500

were down 1.5 points at 1304 and were 1.5 points below fair value.


futures were down 3 points at 1940 and were 5 short of fair value.

On the corporate front, a spate of negative headlines struck at several big financial names. Moody's downgraded

Morgan Stanley's


debt rating after the close Monday, to A1 from Aa3, saying that Morgan did a poor job of managing risk during the credit crisis.

Elsewhere in the financial space,



said it would cut 600 more jobs and revised its second-quarter loss to $9.11 billion from $8.86 billion. The bank said it was increasing its legal reserves as it discusses a possible settlement with the government over its dealings in auction-rate securities.

Investment bank

JPMorgan Chase


said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it was writing down $1.5 billion in mortgage-related assets.

Traders will also be focusing on Swiss bank



$331 million second-quarter loss. The company said it would split its investment-banking business from its wealth-management segment to quell customer concerns.

In technology,

Advanced Micro Devices


announced after the close that it would release a new graphics card, which it said is the world's fastest.

Elsewhere, biotechnology firm

Gilead Sciences


won government approval to market its HIV drug Viread for chronic hepatitis B patients.

Meanwhile, billionaire investor Carl Icahn upped his stake in

Biogen Idec


to 6% from 4.3%. Icahn has been seeking a sale of the biotech company.

As for analyst actions, UBS downgraded fast-food seller



to neutral from buy.

Moving over to commodities, crude oil was lately down $1.56 to $112.89, and gold was losing $12.70 to $815.60.

U.S. Treasuries were edging upward in price. The 10-year note was adding 5/32, yielding 3.97%, and the 30-year was up 8/32 to yield 4.59%. The dollar was rising against the euro, the yen and the pound.

As for economic data, investors will get the Department of Commerce's read on the June U.S. trade balance before the market opens, and a little later the U.S. Treasury will announce its budget for July.

Abroad, many of the major markets were trading lower. The FTSE in London, the DAX in Frankfurt, the Nikkei in Tokyo and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong were all logging declines.