Stocks poised to open lower

October 31, 2011: 8:39 AM ET
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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- U.S. stocks were poised to open lower Monday, as investors react to Japan's intervention in global currency markets and remain cautious ahead of a week chock-full of economic events.

Ahead of the opening bell Monday, Dow Jones industrial average (INDU), S&P 500 (SPX) and Nasdaq (COMP) futures retreated roughly 1%. Stock futures indicate the possible direction of the markets when they open at 9:30 a.m. ET.

The Japanese government stepped in early Monday to push down the yen's value in international currency markets. It marked the third time this year Japan's leaders have curbed the yen's rise. A stronger yen makes it more difficult for exporters to remain competitive.

The move immediately sent the dollar rising against major global currencies, and pressured commodities that are priced in dollars, such as oil and gold.

Little else is on the agenda for Monday, but the rest of the week promises a busy schedule, including a G20 meeting in France, the latest monetary policy decisions from the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank, and monthly jobs data out of the United States.

After surging Thursday on news that European leaders had reached a debt agreement, U.S. stocks ended little changed Friday, as questions and doubts about the deal emerged.

Aside from humdrum trading on Friday, markets are poised to close out what has been a stellar month. The Dow is up 12% in October, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq have surged more than 13%.

MF Global's warning bells

Companies: MF Global (MF) shares were halted in premarket trading, on pending news. Media reports indicated the brokerage is expected to file for bankruptcy.

Allstate (ALL, Fortune 500) insurance and Winn-Dixie Stores (WINN, Fortune 500) will release their quarterly results after the closing bell.

Analysts surveyed by Briefing.com expect Allstate's earnings to have dropped sharply to 13 cents per share from 83 cents a year earlier. Winn-Dixie is expected to lose 38 cents per share after losing 42 cents per share last year.

Economy: A report on manufacturing in the Chicago region is due at 9:45 a.m. ET.

Other regional surveys have recently shown solid improvement in manufacturing activity in October, but economists are expecting Monday's report to show manufacturing activity was nearly flat in the Chicago area.

World markets: European stocks tumbled in morning trading. Britain's FTSE 100 (UKX) fell 1.1%, the DAX (DAX) in Germany dropped 1.6% and France's CAC 40 (CAC40) lost 1.5%.

Asian markets ended lower. The Shanghai Composite (SHCOMP) edged lower 0.2%, the Hang Seng (HSI) in Hong Kong shed 0.8% and Japan's Nikkei (N225) slid 0.7%.

Currencies and commodities: The dollar rose against the euro, the British pound and the Japanese yen Monday.

Oil for December delivery fell 63 cents to $92.69 a barrel.

Gold futures for December delivery tumbled $23 to $1,724.30 an ounce.

Bonds: The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury rose, pushing the yield down to 2.25% from 2.31% late Friday.  To top of page

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,805.41 127.51 0.76%
Nasdaq 4,483.72 30.92 0.69%
S&P 500 1,964.58 13.76 0.71%
Treasuries 2.27 -0.00 -0.09%
Data as of 6:21pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Ford Motor Co 13.78 -0.62 -4.31%
Microsoft Corp 46.13 1.11 2.47%
Apple Inc 105.22 0.39 0.37%
Bank of America Corp... 16.72 0.12 0.72%
Yahoo! Inc 43.50 0.90 2.11%
Data as of Oct 24
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.98%3.95%
15 yr fixed3.05%3.05%
5/1 ARM3.32%3.71%
30 yr refi4.05%4.03%
15 yr refi3.12%3.11%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
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