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Stocks' Continued Rally in Doubt

Futures point to a weak open for Wall Street.

After two straight record-setting finishes for the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

, stocks were facing a flat to slightly lower open Thursday amid rising oil and a slew of chain-store sales.

Futures on the

S&P 500

were down half a point to 1357.80, in line with fair value. Nasdaq 100 futures were up 1.5 points at 1694 and were 2 points below fair value.

On Wednesday, a broad-based rally led the major U.S. averages to impressive gains. After a slow open, the Dow surged 123.27 points, or 1.05%, to 11,850.61. The S&P jumped 16.11 points, or 1.21%, to 1350.22, and the

Nasdaq Composite

soared 47.30 points, or 2.11%, to 2290.95.

Helping the rise was a weak report on the services sector that bolstered the case for a market-friendly

Federal Reserve


Because it's the first Thursday of the month, that means the bulk of the nation's retail-chain operators are reporting their same-store sales. Among the early reporters,



said September comp sales rose 12%, and

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Chico's FAS

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said last month's same-store revenue was up 2.1%. At


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, comps climbed 13.4%.


(AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. (AAPL) Report

CEO Steve Jobs knew the company had improperly backdated some of its option grants, the company said after conducting an internal investigation. However, the probe found that Jobs wasn't aware of the potential accounting problems the issue would raise.

Elsewhere in the tech space, California Attorney General Bill Lockyer filed criminal charges against Patricia Dunn, the former chair of


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, and four others related to the company's secret program to access director phone records.

Crude was on the rise after a


report that OPEC will cut oil production by 1 million barrels a day as soon as possible. The world's biggest oil exporter, Saudi Arabia, is lowering its production by 300,000 barrels a day from last month, according to the report.

Lately, oil futures were higher by $1.28 to $60.69 a barrel.

To view Farnoosh Torabi's video take on today's market, click here