Wall St set to open down as market takes breather

Markets Reuters

On Thursday, the market soared 3 percent after a long-awaited agreement was struck to help contain the region's two-year debt crisis. The S&P 500 is up more than 13 percent this month, on pace for its biggest monthly gain since October 1974.

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But the market remained skeptical over the debt deal as many details were still to be worked out before the region can show its ability to contain the crippling crisis.

S&P 500 futures fell 8.5 points and were below fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures lost 67 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures fell 9.50 points.

"The big news of the week was yesterday, and today we're seeing typical price action after that kind of move. We may see a consolidation over the next week, but then a sustained rally after that," said Wayne Kaufman, chief market analyst at John Thomas Financial in New York.

The latest economic data showed sluggish growth in U.S. consumer income in September that led households to cut back on saving to increase spending.

A separate government report showed wages and salaries expanded 0.3 percent in the third quarter -- the smallest rise in a year.

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Shares of Merck & Co Inc rose 2.9 percent to $35.31 in premarket trading after the No. 2 U.S. drugmaker reported quarterly profit and sales that beat estimates.

Chevron Corp, the second-largest U.S. oil company, said quarterly earning more than doubled, topping expectations on high oil prices and strong refinery margins. The stock was off 0.3 percent at $108.95 premarket.

Shares of MF Global Holdings Ltd tumbled more than 26 percent to $1.05 premarket. Some customers are moving money away from the struggling futures brokerage, rivals, hedge fund officials and analysts said, though the extent of the outflows is unclear.

Baidu Inc were up 7.5 percent to $148.82 premarket after the top Chinese search engine forecast sales above estimates and reported robust quarterly earnings late Thursday.

Brocade Communications Systems Inc rose 8.8 percent to $4.70 premarket after the Wall Street Journal reported the maker of computer switches and routers for managing data traffic may be looking again at prospective buyers.

At 9:55 a.m. EDT (1355 GMT), the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers will release its final October consumer sentiment index. Economists expect a reading of 58.0, compared with 57.5 in the preliminary October report.

(Reporting by Angela Moon; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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