Stock Futures Trim Heavy Losses, Treasury Yields Make Slight Rebound as Traders Mull European Developments


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Stock futures came back from heavy losses, but remained stuck in the red, while Treasury yields rebounded slightly from historic lows as traders parsed through developments from Europe following the worst two-day retreat for the Dow since 2008.

Today's Markets

As of 9:15 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures dipped 38 points to 10,611, S&P 500 futures slipped 4.5 points to 1,119 and S&P 500 futures dropped 7.5 points to 2,167.

The major market averages have taken a beating this week, indeed the broad S&P 500 has plunged 7.1% in the last four trading days alone, while the Nasdaq has shed 6.4% over that time frame.  The Dow has been down for two-straight days, tumbling 5.9% in the worst two-day rout since the financial crisis in 2008.

Market participants have been reacting to renewed concerns that the global economy is careening off course, and that policymakers broadly aren't taking enough steps to stem the fall.  In particular, the euro zone sovereign debt crisis has been seen as a significant destabilizing factor amid fears a default by a country like Greece could send shockwaves that could paralyze the financial system.

The Group of 20 major economies, including the United States, European Union and China, issued a statement late Thursday saying that it stands committed to "take all necessary actions to preserve the stability of banking systems and financial markets as required."

While European markets pointed higher as a result, they quickly fell back into the red, as did U.S. stock futures.  There is a concern that policymakers' statements have often not translated into action, analysts say.

Additionally, the European Commission said Friday that there is no big push to recpitalize European banks, which goes counter to a report on Thursday by the Financial Times that it would move to aid struggling mid-tier European banks.  The EU has already provided nearly $600 billion in support to the embattled banking sector there.

Euro zone banks, particularly French ones like BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole, have seen their share prices plummet over worries that a sovereign default would severely damage their capital position.

The race out of risky assets wasn't limited to equities: commodities across the board have taken considerable selling pressure.  Crude has fallen more than 7% in the past two days, and is down another $1.53, or 1.9%, to $78.95 a barrel in early trade. Oil is now at its lowest level since Aug. 9.

Gold, which has tumbled 3% in the past two sessions, dipped another $31.10, or 1.8%, to $1,710 a troy ounce.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury, which hit an all-time low on Thursday, was recently stable at 1.725%.

Corporate News

Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) ousted Leo Apotheker as its chief executive, putting former eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) CEO Meg Whitman in his place.  Apotheker had been strongly criticized during his time running the computing giant.

Foreign Markets

The English FTSE 100 dipped 1.7% to 4,954 and the German DAX fell 1.7% to 4,954.

In Asia, the Chinese Hang Seng fell 1.4% to 17,669 and Japanese markets were closed for a holiday.