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Stock index futures signal lower Wall Street open



17 September 2012 @ 06:48 pm AEST

LONDON

Stock index futures pointed to a weaker open on Wall Street on Monday, with futures for the S&P 500, the Dow Jones and the Nasdaq 100 falling 0.1 to 0.3 percent.

General Electric Co has hired Morgan Stanley to review its 33 percent stake in Thailand's Bank of Ayudhya Pcl, which could potentially lead to a sale by the U.S. conglomerate of its near $2.2 billion holding, sources familiar with the matter said.

The New York Federal Reserve releases its Empire State Manufacturing Survey for September at 1230 GMT. Economists in a Reuters survey expect a reading of -2.00, compared with -5.85 in August.

The U.S. Treasury Department is unwilling to sell the government's stake in General Motors Co because a sale now would mean huge investment losses, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing people close to the matter.

President Barack Obama will launch a trade complaint against China over what his administration says is Beijing's unfair government backing of its auto industry, a White House official said on Sunday.

A day before a strike deadline at the Detroit Three automakers, the Canadian Auto Workers chose Ford Motor Co as the lead company for contract talks, saying the union believes it has the best chance of reaching a deal with Ford and averting a damaging work stoppage.

Activist hedge fund Starboard Value is expected to disclose on Monday that it has taken a 13.3 percent stake in Office Depot Inc , making it the biggest shareholder of the office products supplier, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

JPMorgan Chase & Co's compliance with U.S. anti-money laundering laws is being reviewed by a banking regulator, a source said, making the largest U.S. bank the latest target of a wide investigation of how banks prevent transactions involving drug money and sanctioned countries.

European stocks <.FTEU3> dipped on Monday as investors took a breather following a sharp two-week rally and a key index hit a strong resistance level, although the retreat could be short-lived as recent central bank moves boost risk appetite.

U.S. stocks rose for a fourth straight session on Friday to close out the week at nearly five-year highs after the Federal Reserve took bold action to spur the economy, a move that could keep equities buoyed in the coming months.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> ended up 53.51 points, or 0.40 percent, to 13,593.37. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> closed up 5.78 points, or 0.40 percent, to 1,465.77. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> gained 28.12 points, or 0.89 percent, to 3,183.95.

(Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Toby Chopra)

Copyright 2009 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.

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