U.S. Stocks to Open Narrowly Mixed

Premarkets futures were mixed as the U.S. Senate passed its version of the rescue plan for the financial sector.
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Premarket futures were suggesting a narrowly mixed open for stocks in New York Thursday, after the Senate passed a $700 billion

financial-sector bailout package


Futures for the

S&P 500

were down 2.9 points at 1166 but were 0.7 points ahead of fair value.


futures were up 9 points to 1588 and were 13 better than fair value.

Stocks traded erratically Wednesday as traders awaited passage of the bill and took in a heap of data that pointed to a softening economy. After the close of trading, the Senate passed the legislation with a 74-25 vote. The House of Representatives had rejected an earlier version of the proposal on Monday, and the stock market responded with one of its worst performances in recent memory.

In an attempt at offering additional support to the stock market, the

Securities and Exchange Commission

extended through Oct. 17 a ban on short sales of financial stocks. The original ban had been slated to expire Thursday.

Meanwhile, Swiss bank


(UBS) - Get Report

announced it would net a small third-quarter profit. Such an achievement would break a four-quarter losing streak for



Elsewhere, the

Financial Times

reported that private equity firm

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts

, together with French electric company


were working on a

buyout deal


Constellation Energy



In the technology space,


said Japanese firm


was in discussions with data-storage company

Western Digital

(WDC) - Get Report

about a potential sale of

Fujitsu's hard-drive business


Looking at economic data, the Department of Labor is expected to report initial jobless claims for the week ended Sept. 27, and the Census Bureau is due to announce its estimates on August factory orders.

In commodities, crude oil was down 98 cents to $97.55. Gold was losing $13.60 at $873.70.

Longer-term U.S. Treasury securities were slightly higher in price. The 10-year was up 2/32 to yield 3.73%, and the 30-year was gaining 8/32, yielding 4.2%. The dollar was stronger against the euro and pound but falling vs. the yen.

Overseas, European exchanges were advancing, while

Asia was mixed

. The FTSE in London and the DAX in Frankfurt were up, and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong finished on the upside. Japan's Nikkei ended its session with losses.