U.S. Futures Weighed Down by Gloomy Earnings Reports

Premarket futures were suggesting a lower open for stocks in New York Wednesday, as corporate earnings again took center stage and concerns of a global slowdown increased.

Futures for the S&P 500 were down 19 points at 939 and were 15 points short of fair value. Nasdaq futures were 17 points lower at 1276 and were 12 below fair value.

On Tuesday, stocks sold off sharply into the close as traders took profits from Monday's rally and sorted through gloomy earnings statements from a wide variety of firms.

Following Tuesday's close, Apple ( AAPL) reported a 26% increase in third-quarter earnings. Strong iPhone sales contributed to the improvement, but the company worked to temper expectations for the fourth quarter on a slowing economy.

Internet portal Yahoo! ( YHOO) also announced third-quarter earnings, saying profit declined 64%. The company also said it would cut at least 1,500 jobs this year.

Ahead of the new day's trading, oil-services company Baker Hughes ( BHI)said its profit increased 10% year over year.

Investors will be shoveling through a fresh pile of earnings statements. Aircraft maker Boeing ( BA) and its rival, Northrop Grumman ( NOC) are both slated to report.

Traders also will hear from telecom company AT&T ( T), integrated oil firm ConocoPhillips ( COP) and regional bank Wachovia ( WB).

Fast-food provider McDonald's ( MCD) also will announce its third-quarter results.

On a day that is rather light on economic data, the Energy Information Administration is set to release its crude-oil inventory figures for the week ended Oct. 18.

In commodities, crude oil was losing $2.79 to $69.39 a barrel. Gold gave back $10.30 to $757.70 an ounce.

Longer-dated U.S. Treasury securities were rising in price. The 10-year note was up 24/32, yielding 3.65%. The 30-year was gaining 1-18/32 to yield 4.13%. The dollar was rising vs. the euro and pound but weaker against the yen.

Overseas, European indices, including the FTSE in London and the DAX in Frankfurt, were mainly trading lower. Asian markets also finished lower.

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