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Wall Street braces for more losses

JPMorgan Chase earnings disappoint; Oracle to acquire BEA Systems; Intel gives cautious outlook; futures lower.

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- U.S. stocks looked set to slide at Wednesday's start after disappointing results from JP Morgan further fanned fears that the U.S. economy would fall into a recession.

JPMorgan Chase (JPM, Fortune 500) reported fourth-quarter earnings that fell short of Wall Street's estimates due to a $1.3 billion write-down on subprime assets. The company's net income fell to $3 billion for the quarter.

The results come after Citigroup reported a $9.8 billion loss in the quarter and ahead of results from Wells Fargo (WFC, Fortune 500) due out later this morning.

Also on Wednesday, the software giant Oracle Corp. (ORCL, Fortune 500) signed a deal to acquire BEA Systems (BEAS) for $8.5 billion, the companies said. Back in October, Oracle bid $6.7 billion for BEA but was rejected.

Intel (INTC, Fortune 500), the world's largest chipmaker, fueled investor skepticism when it reported quarterly sales that missed Wall Street's estimates late Tuesday. Even more worrisome for investors was the weak outlook the company gave, which raised concerns that Intel faces a slowdown in demand as the economy weakens.

At 8:17 a.m. ET, Nasdaq and S&P futures were lower, suggesting no rebound from the previous session's massive selloff.

On the economic front, the government is due to release its Consumer Price Index, a key measure of inflation, at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com project a gain of 0.2 percent for December.

The latest data for industrial production and capacity utilization is also due out. The Federal Reserve is also slated to release its Beige Book of economic conditions.

Oil prices took a dive, with the price of light crude for February delivery dropping to $90.90 a barrel in electronic trading ahead of the government's weekly report on fuel inventories.

Stocks tumbled Tuesday after financial giant Citigroup (C, Fortune 500) reported a record $9.8 billion loss and the government's reading on retail sales came in much weaker than expected.

News that Citi and Merrill Lynch (MER, Fortune 500) had lined up about $21 billion in fresh capital wasn't enough to soothe investors, who focused on the $18 billion write-down Citi took on mortgage-related investments and worried about weak credit conditions ahead.

In global trade, Asian markets got hammered, and European stocks tumbled in morning trading. To top of page

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