Stocks headed for lower start

By staff

NEW YORK ( -- Stocks are slated to slide at Wednesday's open, after the momentum of a six-session streak of gains came to an end.

The Dow Jones industrial average, Nasdaq-100 and S&P-500 futures were lower. Futures measure current index values against their perceived future performance and offer an indication of how markets may open when trading begins.

Stocks ended a choppy session slightly lower Tuesday, with the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq breaking a six-session winning streak.

Financial institutions may be in the spotlight again after a published report that GMAC Financial Services may receive $3.5 billion in additional aid, in addition to the $13.5 billion it has already received from the government.

Trading volume will likely be very low with many market participants out on holiday for the week, so small moves could cause major volatility during the shortened week on Wall Street. The stock market is closed Friday in observance of New Year's Day.

Economy: Shortly after the market opens, a report on Chicago-area manufacturing for December will be released. A consensus of analysts polled by predicted a decline to 55.1 in December from 56.1 the previous month.

The government's weekly crude oil inventories report is due at 10:30 a.m. ET.

World markets: Stocks in Asia closed lower, with Tokyo's Nikkei down 0.9% in the final trading session of the year. European indexes were lower in midday trading.

Money and oil: The dollar eased against the euro, but was higher versus the pound and yen.

Crude oil for February delivery fell 33 cents to $78.54 a barrel.

Gold for February delivery eased $4.60 to $1,093.50 an ounce. To top of page

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