MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Monday, March 10, 2008

U.S. stock futures point to sluggish start; Countrywide falls - MarketWatch

U.S. stock futures point to sluggish start; Countrywide falls - MarketWatch

The latest quarterly results are due from the Blackstone Group (BX:
BX
and, after the close, Texas Instruments (TXN:
TXN
and Hovnanian Enterprises (HOV:
HOV
McDonald's (MCD:
MCD
also is expected to release February sales figures.
The FBI is probing Countrywide Financial (CFC:
CFC
over allegations of securities fraud, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
Countrywide shares dropped 7% to $4.73 in Frankfurt trade.
Bank of America (BAC:
BAC
which has agreed to buy the lender, edged 0.5% higher.
Virgin Media (VMED:
VMED
the U.S.-listed, U.K.-based cable operator, could be the target of a buyout offer worth up to $7.5 billion from a team of private-equity houses, according to a report in the Observer newspaper.
Fitch Ratings dropped their financial sector ratings coverage of bond insurer MBIA (MBI:
MBI
late on Friday, following criticism by the company over its analysis and fees.
Overseas, the Malaysian stock market dropped 10% after the ruling coalition lost its two-thirds majority for the first time in almost four decades.
Other markets were generally weaker, with the Nikkei 225 losing nearly 2% in Tokyo and the FTSE 100 down 0.4% in London.
Yields on 10-year Treasury bonds fell to 3.49%, and the dollar dropped sharply against the Japanese yen, down 0.8% to 101.91 yen.
Crude-oil futures fell 10 cents to $105.05 a barrel, while gold futures rose $4.40 to $978.60 an ounce.

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