MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

U.S. stock futures drop as Intel warns on chip prices - MarketWatch

U.S. stock futures drop as Intel warns on chip prices - MarketWatch

The dollar crawled off lows against major rivals, with the greenback exchanging hands at 103.20 yen, and the euro broadly flat at $1.5194.
Crude-oil futures fell 30 cents to $102.14 a barrel and gold futures were nearly unchanged at $983.50 an ounce.
Of companies in the spotlight, Intel (INTC:
INTC fell 2.3% in Frankfurt after it lowered its gross-margin outlook for the current quarter due to lower NAND flash-memory chip prices than expected.
SanDisk (SNDK:
SNDK
another chip producer, fell 1.1% in Frankfurt.
Scott Geels, an analyst at Bernstein Research in London, said the chip industry is headed for the second straight sub-seasonal quarter due to weak pricing, as he expects first-quarter revenue to fall 4% to 5% from fourth-quarter levels.
"This weakness, on top of the fourth-quarter's sub-seasonal numbers, is likely the result of an economically-driven demand slowdown," he said in a note to clients.
Ambac (ABK:
ABK
won't split its business in two as it recapitalizes, the Financial Times reported insiders as saying.
Earnings reports are due out from Staples (SPLS:
SPLS and Tech Data (TECD:
TECD among others.
Barr (BRL: may rise after a U.S. court invalidated the patent on Bayer's Yasmin contraceptive, sending the German firm's shares down around 5% in Frankfurt.
In overseas markets, the Nikkei 225 ended virtually flat while Sydney stocks fell after the rate hike.
Stocks in Europe also dropped, with the DAX 30 down 1% on weakness from Bayer as well as the auto sector. End of Story

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