Stock Futures Fall Ahead of Fed Minutes

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stock futures were pointing to a lower open ahead of the release of the minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee's last policy-setting meeting.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were lower by 27 points, or 17 points below fair value, at 10,936. Futures for the S&P 500 were down by 3 points, or 3 points below fair value, at 1159, while Nasdaq futures were off by 5 points, or 4 points below fair value.

Stocks finished Monday's session mildly higher during a sluggish trading session as investors largely remained on the sidelines ahead of the FOMC meeting minutes release and key earnings reports due out later in the week.

Overseas, Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.4%, and Japan's Nikkei fell 2.1% after China reportedly increased reserve requirements for six banks to damp lending and contain inflation. The FTSE in London was falling 0.4%, and the DAX in Frankfurt was down by 0.05%.

Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank President Thomas Hoenig is scheduled to discuss the economic outlook and monetary policy on Tuesday morning at the National Association for Business Economics annual meeting in Denver.

At 2 p.m. ET, the Federal Reserve's policy-setting arm will release the minutes from its Sept. 21 meeting. Investors will be eager to see what FOMC members said about quantitative easing and the recovery.
Bernanke
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke

After the closing bell, Intel ( INTC) will report third-quarter earnings. Analysts are anticipating a profit of 50 cents a share, according to Briefing.com.

Pfizer is acquiring King Pharmaceuticals ( KG) for $3.6 billion in cash, sending King's stock up 39.2%, to $14.13 in premarket trading. Shares of Pfizer, meanwhile, were up by 0.4%, to $17.38.

Entergy ( ETR) said it's cooperating with the U.S. Department of Justice in a civil investigation of competitive issues regarding certain practices and policies of its utility companies. The stock was rising 0.2% to $77.31 in early trading.

Shares of Google were ticking 0.1% higher to $539.50 ahead of Tuesday's bell. The company signed an agreement to invest in the development of a backbone transmission project off the Mid-Atlantic coast to accelerate offshore wind development.

Buyout firm KKR ( KKR) partnered with the Korean national pension system to buy a minority stake in Colonial Pipeline, a Chevron ( CVX). The deal is valued at close to $1 billion.

Johnson Controls ( JCI) expects fiscal 2011 earnings of $2.30 to $2.45 a share on sales of $37 billion, compared with the profit of $2.37 a share and sales of $36.27 billion that analysts had been projecting.

In commodity markets, crude oil for November delivery was shedding 14 cents to trade at $82.07 a barrel, and the December gold contract was losing $1.70 to $1,352.70 an ounce.

Meanwhile, the dollar was trading higher against a basket of currencies, with the dollar index up by 0.2%, and the benchmark 10-year Treasury note strengthened 6/32, weakening the yield to 2.374%.

--Written by Melinda Peer in New York.
Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.