As traders geared up to ring in the third quarter, stock futures were pointing to a lower open Tuesday amid rising oil prices, weakness in the dollar and soft European markets.
futures were down 14 points at 1267 and were 14 points below fair value. Futures for the
were down 25 points at 1821 and were 25 points below fair value.
Part of the problem for futures was a familiar foe -- crude oil. Recently, oil was up $2.19 to $142.19 a barrel on concern that Israel would bomb Iran over its nuclear program, causing supply disruptions. Gold was adding $3.70 to $932.
On the corporate front, several financial firms were working to improve or eliminate their exposure to the housing market.
said it would stop offering its controversial Pick-A-Payment mortgages.
announced it would be selling its home lending business to Lone Star Funds for $1.5 billion in cash and $4.4 billion in debt. The company said it will also get rid of its manufactured housing portfolio to Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance. CIT said it was seeking to eliminate uncertainty caused by exposure to the housing market.
In the realm of economic data, investors will take a look at June auto and truck sales numbers, as well as May construction spending. They'll be examining the June ISM index, which offers nationwide insight into the health of the manufacturing sector, even more closely.
Treasury prices were up slightly. The 10-year note was tacking on 2/32, yielding 3.97%, and the 30-year was up 9/32 to yield 4.51%. The dollar was weaker against the euro, the yen and the pound.
Abroad, markets were taking a hit. All the major European exchanges, including London's FTSE, Frankfurt's Dax and the Paris Cac were down at least 1.9%. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei was off slightly, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng was ticking higher.