Futures signal weaker open for U.S. equities

Friday, September 30th, 2011 | Finance News

(Reuters) Stock index futures pointed to a weaker open for equities on Wall Street on Friday, with futures for the S&P 500, Dow Jones and Nasdaq 100 down 0.6 to 0.8 percent.

* Swiss drugs industry supplier Lonza (LONN.VX) has extended its offer for U.S. group Arch Chemicals (ARJ.N) as it seeks to close a $1.2 billion deal that would make it the world's largest player in the microbial control market.

* At 1230 GMT, the Institute for Supply Management-New York releases September index of regional business activity. In August, the index read 537.6.

* The Institute of Supply Management Chicago releases at 1345 GMT September index of manufacturing activity. Economists predict a reading of 55.5 compared with 56.5 in August.

* McGraw-Hill Companies Inc (MHP.N) is in advanced talks to merge its S&P Indices business with CME Group Inc's (CME.O) Dow Jones Indexes, a source familiar with the situation said on Thursday.

* Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers release final September consumer sentiment index at 1355 GMT. Economists expect a reading of 57.8, a repeat of the preliminary September figure.

* The rock-bottom price of the new Kindle Fire tablet computer is raising questions about Amazon.com Inc's (AMZN.O) ability to keep up with demand and the device's effect on the company's already razor-thin profit margins.

* The Commerce Department releases at 1230 GMT August personal income and consumption data. Economists expect a 0.1 percent rise in income and a 0.2 percent increase in spending. In July, income rose 0.3 percent and spending was up 0.8 percent.

* Economic Cycle Research Institute releases at 1430 GMT its weekly index of economic activity for September 23. In the prior week, the index read 122.2.

* China's manufacturing sector contracted for a third consecutive month in September, suggesting that the world's second-largest economy is not immune to global headwinds, while factory inflation quickened.

* Oil and gas company Apache Corp (APA.N) said its subsidiary will proceed with the development of the Balnaves oil field in offshore Western Australia, with gross peak production of about 30,000 barrels per day.

* The U.S. Justice Department is investigating accounting irregularities at Chinese companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges, said an official with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, suggesting criminal charges may be brought in addition to civil proceedings.

* Japan's Toshiba Corp (6502.T), the world's No.3 chipmaker, said on Friday that it will sell its Malaysia chip assembly unit to Amkor Technology Inc (AMKR.O) as part of its push to consolidate chip operations.

* European shares (.FTEU3) fell 1.1 percent on Friday, on track to record their worst quarterly performance since late 2008, as markets grapple with slowing global growth and a long-running euro zone sovereign debt crisis.

* The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI) gained 143.08 points, or 1.30 percent, to 11,153.98 on Thursday. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index (.SPX) gained 9.34 points, or 0.81 percent, to 1,160.40. But the Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC) dropped 10.82 points, or 0.43 percent, to 2,480.76.

(Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Mike Nesbit)

Source