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Premarket futures were suggesting Wall Street would extend the previous day's losses Thursday, as traders continued to face a harsh economic reality and confronted a dire future for the hapless U.S. automotive sector.

Futures for the

S&P 500

were down 13 points at 800 and were 5.8 short of fair value.


futures were losing 18 points at 1075 and were 13 below fair value.

On Wednesday, stocks spent much of the day in the red and took a final plunge into the close, saddling the major averages with heavy losses. Dismal housing and consumer-price data, as well as uncertainty over the fate of the automakers, contributed to the pessimism.

Following the close of that session, the prospects of government aid for

General Motors

(GM) - Get General Motors Company Report



(F) - Get Ford Motor Company Report



appeared to diminish as the Senate, which heard testimony from CEOs of the Big Three on Tuesday and Wednesday, deadlocked on the proper course of action and canceled plans to continue debating the issue Thursday.

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It didn't appear that the auto manufacturers' prospects would improve on their own, as GM announced it would be cease production at one of its Thailand facilities for as much as two months.

Meanwhile, aircraft maker and

Dow Jones Industrial Average



(BA) - Get The Boeing Company Report

said it would lay off 800 workers in a Kansas facility thanks to delays and terminations of various projects.


reported that industrial conglomerate and Dow stock

General Electric

(GE) - Get General Electric Company Report

was in talks to secure investments from several Asian sovereign wealth funds.

Among technology companies,



is still in talks to purchase

Time Warner's


AOL business, according to a report by



In the earnings department, government-controlled mortgage firm

Freddie Mac


is slated to report quarterly results before trading begins.

As for the day's economic data, the Department of Labor's initial jobless claims for the week ended Nov. 15 are due for release, as are the Conference Board's leading indicators index and the Philadelphia

Federal Reserve's

manufacturing survey.

Moving on to commodities, crude oil was losing $1.32 to $52.30 a barrel. Gold was up $8.40 to $744.40.

Longer-dated U.S. Treasury securities were climbing in price. The 10-year was up 15/32, yielding 3.27%, and the 30-year was adding 31/32 to yield 3.85%.

Across the seas, European exchanges such as the FTSE in London and the DAX in Frankfurt were trading lower. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei and Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed with major losses.