MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dow Drop Likely Caused By Intentional Liquidity Cutoff

Stock Assault 2.0 - Artificial Intelligence Stock Market Software

The initial official excuse for such a perceptions drop in the Dow was a wrong keystroke, which is ludicrous.

Then there is the almost total control by Goldman Sachs of the market and control via the Supplementary Liquidity Provider. All they have to do is cut off liquidity and the market plunges. Thus, there is no question in our minds that Goldman attacked the market and took it down to let House and Senate members know that they can make the market do whatever they please with the full cooperation of the SEC and CFTC, this convinced lawmakers that the Illuminist threat was very real. There would be no breakup of too big to fail banks and no real audit of the Fed. The public would be thrown a bone. This is a good reason why program trading has to end and why derivatives have to be abolished. This is all a reflection of two sets of justice. One for the elitists and one for us. This also shows us that crime pays. It also pro ves our country is under the financial control of terrorists. This power has to be taken away from these criminals. The legal way to do that is by throwing most all of Congress and the Senate out of office. Then we will have a chance to save our country. Otherwise you will see this all move into the streets.

This same cabal has arranged for Europe’s $1 trillion bailout, which will not be successful and they know that. As a result the euro has fallen from $1.50 and is approaching $1.20. Could it be that the euro could go to parity? Yes, of course, it could. Then what or who is next? The pound, yen and then the dollar? Then we ask, “Who will save them?” Who will rescue the world from deflationary depression and another planned world war? You say they actually plan wars? Well, of course, they do. How do you think we were able to predict a 9/11, and the wars and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan? They were profitable diversions for the Illuminists. Th ey kept the potboiling and sidetracked public thinking away from economic and financial problems. The propagandized and mindless public did not know they were being bamboozled again. In the meantime the Trilateralists tell us Israel should be attacking Iran, which in part proves our point. It is now just a question of when. Hasn’t the world public been deceived enough? When are they going to catch on? Do we have to pound it into their heads with a hammer? Of course, in time this is going to affect the dollar, particularly versus gold, which is the world’s ultimate currency. What will the world say when it discovers the US has little or no gold left? Will by that time 25% to 50% unemployed stand still and tolerate this crime? Will they riot and demand changes? Of course, they will and the elitists won’t listen, which will bring about their demise, as masters of the universe. This is why November’s election is so important. It is the last hope of changing our country w ithout resorting to protest in the streets, as we are now seeing in the streets of others. What happens when Americans find out we have no gold left? That it was wasted in an attempt to cover up the seriousness of our collapsing economic and financial system that was being systematically looted. America is just as bad off as Europe. How can throwing money and credit at the system solve the problem? How can austerity solve the problem? It has all gone to far. The world has to have depression â€" there is no other solution. These are all legitimate questions, because no one is safe or exempt. Government cannot and does not even want to protect you. We no longer have a sovereign government; we have an ongoing criminal enterprise controlling our country. What we have seen over the past several years, what could never happen, has already happened. What is to come is going to be a nightmare.

World markets are dysfunctional and stability doesn’t exist. Man s et distortions and economic imbalances - a system that functions without regulation, derivatives and unbridled and unfettered speculation, surrounds us. Leveraged speculation dominates the markets, particularly debt instruments. Unfortunately, this speculation is fostered by government and central banks perpetual willingness to bail out everyone in banking and finance just to keep the system afloat.

This brings us to the dilemma of Greece again. Eurozone policymakers, bankers and governments have been caught again perpetuating imprudent lending to a profligate Greece, whose leadership for years lied to the Greeks, kept two sets of books and were aided and abetted by international elitist bankers, such as Goldman Sachs. Those in authority in the eurozone and the bankers knew exactly what was going on. They deceived everyone in the eurozone including the Greeks. They did this because they knew the public would be called upon to bail them out in a European version of TARP, which was used to bailout the American financial community that was elitist connected. Our markets have been dominated by this cabal of crooks for the past 15 years. They held one interest rate for all to the limits, and the result of that is the deplorable financial condition not only in Greece, but in Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy as well. This situation was allowed to flourish. The ECB should get no sympathy, because they did what they did knowingly. They have been monetizing just like the Federal Reserve for the past seven years. The creation of money and credit slowed over the past year, but it will have to resume if Europe and the US expect to survive financially and economically.

Even with the problems we have seen over the past two years and 10 months, now those in Europe you would think would realize how serious these situations are. Now we have debtors in trouble having to lend to serious debtors in more serious trouble. T hat surely doesn’t make things better; it makes them worse. Incidentally, these are the people who caused the problems in the first place. They knew and we know, no matter what they say that their policies are unsound, unstable and unsustainable. As a result they are faced with a collapsing market for sovereign debt, which is affecting other debt and stocks worldwide. The fact that the Fed failed to solve the credit crisis and affect a recovery tells us that they are ineffective and the ECB is no more competent as well. Debt contagion is on and will sweep the world. Dead beats are dead beats even if they are sovereign nations.

Last week the Dow gained 2.3%; the S&P rose 2.2%; the Russell 2000 rose 6.3% and the Nasdaq 100 rose 3.1%. Cyclicals rose 4.4%; transports 4.4%; consumers 1.8%; utilities 2.4%; high tech 2.1%; semis 2.1%; Internets 4.5% and biotechs 3.7%. Gold bullion rose $22.00; the HUI rose 7.9% and the USDX rose 2.1% to 86.25, as the eur o and other currencies folded. Two-year T-bills fell 3 bps to 0.72%; the 10-year notes increased 3 bps to 3.46% and the 10-year German bund rose 6 bps to 2.88%.

The Freddie Mac 30-year fixed rate mortgage fell 7 bps to 4.93%; the 15’s fell 6 bps to 4.30%. The one-year ARM’s fell 4.02% and 3-year jumbos fell 15 bps to 5.63%.

Fed credit dipped $1.2 billion to $2.310 trillion â€" it was up $90.3 billion y-t-d and 9.2% yoy. Fed foreign holdings of Treasuries and Agency debt fell $11.8 billion, as custody holdings for foreign central banks increased $108 billion ytd, up 14.2% yoy.

M2 narrow money supply rose $34.3 billion to $8.504 trillion. It is off $8.1 billion ytd and 1.4% plus yoy.

Total money market fund assets rose $24.2 billion to $2.878 trillion. This year assets are off $416 billion, with a yoy decline of $912 billion, or 24.1%.

Amports Inc. will lay off 11 6 workers at two auto terminals at the Port of Baltimore this summer.

As teachers marched nearby in protest, members of the Long Beach Board of Education on Tuesday voted to issue pink slips to 243 employees - mostly teachers - at the end of this school year as part of a budget-cutting effort.

The five-member board unanimously voted to lay off the employees to help the Long Beach Unified School District cut $90 million over the next two fiscal years. Ninety of those affected are workers on year-to-year contracts, while the remainder are permanent or probationary employees.

Drug company Takeda cutting 1,600 jobs.

The West Coast's last big shipbuilder, a major employer in San Diego County, is planning at least 900 layoffs because of a prolonged industry slump.

General Dynamics NASSCO says it has sent letter s to about a fourth of its 4,100 workers about possible layoffs in mid-July. Half of NASSCO's 500 subcontractor jobs might be cut, too.

NASSCO spokesman Karl Johnson on Wednesday blamed the downturn in commercial and government shipbuilding as well as fluctuations in the Navy's repair schedule.

NASSCO builds logistics ships for the Navy and commercial container ships and tankers.

Payment networks giants Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. were beaten down after the US Senate included limits on debit card fees in the financial overhaul bill and analysts said the House is likely to approve the measure. The proposal would give the Federal Reserve the power to curb debit card “swipe’’ fees charged to merchants. The limits may crimp revenue at Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and JPMorgan, the biggest US debit card issuers. The measure cleared the Senate because of the industry’s “terrible’’ attitude toward merchants, said majority whip Richard Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, who pushed the fee curbs. Merchants last year paid $19.7 billion in fees tied to debit transactions processed by the two networks. The firms counter the bill would benefit retailers at the expense of consumers.


California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed a revised spending plan Friday that pegged the state's budget shortfall at $19.1 billion and called for deep cuts to welfare and health programsâ€"but no tax increasesâ€"to close the gap.

The ne w shortfall estimate is higher than the previous projection of $18.6 billion partly because the state collected less tax revenue than expected in April for the 2009 tax year. Court decisions challenging some of Mr. Schwarzenegger's cuts also added to the budget gap.

This will be the third straight year that Mr. Schwarzenegger has proposed deep spending cuts. Tax revenue in California has plunged because of the collapse of the real estate and financial markets. Legislators closed a $60 billion budget gap last year, but not before state officials had to issue IOUs to creditors to keep the state solvent.

 

'It is very hard to believe that the total US notional derivatives positions of US commercial banks and trusts is $43.9 TRILLION dollars. By comparison, the US GDP, all the goods and services produced and consumed in our entire great nation by every single American each year, was only running $10.1t in the first q uarter. The US M3 money supply, the broadest measure of money, was only $7.4t at the time. The 500 best and biggest companies in the United States, the S&P 500, were only worth $10.4t at the end of the first quarter. Clearly, the $43.9t dollars of the notional value of derivatives that a mere 395 commercial banks and trusts control is simply staggering as it far exceeds the entire US GDP, the entire broad US money supply, and the entire value of all the stocks traded in the United States! BIG, BIG, BIG numbers!'


Global demand for long-term U.S. financial assets strengthened in March to a record as investors from China to the U.K. purchased the most Treasuries since November, a Treasury Department report said.

Net buying of equities, notes and bonds totalled $140.5 billion in March, more than double economists’ projections, after net buying of $47.1 billion in February , the report released today in Washington showed. Including short-term securities such as stock swaps, investors abroad purchased

Manufacturing in the New York region expanded at a slower pace in May than forecast as sales cooled.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s general economic index fell to 19.1 from 31.9 in April, which was the second- highest level in four years. Readings greater than zero signal gains in the so-called Empire State Index that covers New York, northern New Jersey and southern Connecticut.


US NAHB Housing Market Index improves to 22 in May from 19.

US Net Long-term TIC Flows rise to $140.5B in Mar vs. $47.1B in Feb.


Goldman Sachs is ceasing proprietary trading in one type of structured debt. A group of traders who were focused on making bets on collateralized loan obligations with the New York-based firm’s own money are now handling trades for clients.

Morgan Stanley Chief Executive Officer James Gorman denied allegations the U.S. bank misled investors about mortgage derivatives it sold them.  The firm is being probed by U.S. prosecutors over whether the bank misled clients when it sold them collateralized debt obligations as its own traders bet that the value of the securities would drop. Wall Street firms are facing unprecedented scrutiny from lawmakers and prosecutors over whether they mis-sold CDOs linked to the subprime mortgages that caused the credit crisis.

The fallout from the European debt crisis raises the risk of a ‘double dip’ recession for t he global economy, said Stephen Roach, chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia Ltd.  ‘When you have a vulnerable post-crisis economic recovery and crises reverberating in the aftermath of that, you have some very serious risks to the global business cycle,’ Roach said. This concept of the global double dip which no one wants to talk about is alive and well.


New Jersey’s Democratic lawmakers plan to introduce legislation to resurrect an income-tax surcharge on residents who earn $1 million a year or more.

The U.S. posted its largest April budget deficit on record as receipts declined in a month that typically sees an increase in individual income tax payments.  The excess of spending over revenue rose to $82.7 billion last month compared with a $20.9 billion gap in April 2009. April marked a record 19th straight monthly shortfall. Deterioration in the government’s balance sheet in coming years raises the risk of higher interest rates even as an improving economy helps lift tax receipts.  ‘With the recovery in place, we should be seeing higher revenue and lower outlays, not the other way around,’ said Win Thin, senior currency strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman. The government’s April budget deficit compares with a median forecast of $57.9 billion. The last time the U.S. had back-to-back April deficits was 1963-1964. For the fiscal year that began in October, the budget deficit totalled $799.7 billion compared with $802.3 billion during the same period last year.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will seek ‘terrible cuts’ to eliminate an $18.6 billion budget deficit facing the most-populous U.S. state through June 2011. California’s revenue in April, when income-tax payments are due, trailed the governor’s estimates by $3.6 billion, or 26%.

“California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed a new round of budget cuts, including eliminating the state’s main welfare program for families, to close a $19.1 billion budget deficit for the year starting July 1.  The $83.4 billion plan calls for $12.4 billion in spending reductions, $3.4 billion in additional federal aid and $3.4 billion in fund shifts, fees and assessments…”

“In June 2006, a year before the subprime mortgage market collapsed, Morgan Stanley created a cluster of investments doomed to fail even if default rates stayed low -- then bet against its concoction.  Known as the Baldwin deals, the $167 million of synthetic collateralized debt obligations had an unusual feature… Rather than curtailing their bets on mortgage bonds as the underlying home loans paid down, the CDOs kept wagering as if the risk hadn’t changed. That left Baldwin investors facing losses on a modest rise in U.S. housing foreclosures, while Morgan Stanley was positioned to gain.  ‘I can’t imagine anybody would take that bet knowingly,’ said Thomas Adams, a former executive at bond insurers Ambac Financial Group Inc. and FGIC Corp… ‘You’re overriding the natural process of risk-mitigation.’”

David Rosenberg echoes our view: There are classic signs indeed that the recession in the U.S. ended last summer â€" output, sales, etc. But the depression is ongoing and the reason we say that is because real personal income, excluding handouts from the government, has barely budged. In fact, real organic personal income is nearly $500 billion lower now than it was at the peak 16 months ago and this has never occurred before coming out of any technical recession. It is a depression. The share of U.S. personal income being derived from Uncle Sam’s generosity has risen above 18% for the first time ever.

Estimates of how much the govern ment’s spending is actually stimulating growth vary wildly â€" some economists contend it has no net effect at all. But if you believe the economists at Goldman Sachs, who have spent a lot of time poring over the details, the effect is quite significant: about two percentage points of annualized growth in both this quarter and the last. Indeed, if one subtracts that stimulus effect and the boost from changing inventories â€" also a temporary factor â€" there’s been no recovery at all. Growth in the first and second quarters of 2010 would be zero.

In the second half of this year, both those temporary factors will fade. The stimulus could even become a drag as it winds down: Goldman estimates it will shave about half a percentage point from annualized growth in the fourth quarter of this year, moving up to nearly two percentage points in the third quarter of 2011, as the overall amount of spending shrinks.

Goldman Sa chs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are among 10 banks Massachusetts is targeting in a probe of trading of municipal credit default swaps, according to the office of Secretary of State William Galvin.

The state’s securities division sent letters today to 10 underwriters of municipal bonds, asking them to detail their trading of credit-default swaps linked to state and local government bonds they’ve underwritten in Massachusetts since 2003. Recipients have until May 28 to respond. The letter asked each bank to “identify the entity that purchased CDS from your firm for each Massachusetts state or municipal bond offering.”

China boosted its holdings of U.S. Treasury debt for the first time in six months, U.S. officials said Monday. That development could ease concerns that lagging foreign demand will force the United States to pay higher interest rates to finance its debt.

The Treasury Department said that China's holdings of U.S. Treasury securities rose 2 percent in March, to $895 billion, the first increase since last September. The purchases solidified China's position as the world's largest holder of U.S. debt.

Japan, the No. 2 investor, also increased its holdings in March. They rose 2.1 percent, to $784 billion. Total foreign holdings of Treasury securities rose 3.5 percent, to $3.9 trillion.

The government reported that net holdings of long-term securities, which includes the debt of U.S. companies as well as government debt, rose $140 billion in March, the largest one-month gain on record. It surpassed the old record of $135.8 billion in May 2007.

You've got hundreds of billions of recapitalization's needed in Europe, says Meredith Whitney, who is speaking on CNBC this afternoon.

And the fact that Europe is worse than the US is saying something, she says, since she's definitely still not positive on US banks.

Other than that, her interview appears to be a rehash of her op-ed arguing that financial reform will kill jobs.

"It could be very bad."

As for specific aspects of financial reform that concern her: pre-emption (rules that would allow banks to move to different states and take advantage of lower interest rates in some markets) and interchange fees regulation.

Specifically, she expects that interchange regulations will cream smaller banks to the benefit of the larger banks, hampering merchants' access to capital.

As for the stock market: The second half will be "bleak."



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Indications: U.S. stock futures lower after tame inflation data

Stock Assault 2.0 - Artificial Intelligence Stock Market Software Alert Email Print

By Steve Goldstein & Kate Gibson, MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stock futures dropped Wednesday, the first day of a hastily drawn-up German short-sale ban, which served to reinforce rather than dispel worries over the health of European governments and the lenders that possess their debt.

Already at their Wednesday lows, stock index futures were little swayed by a report from the Labor Department that consumer prices declined 0.1% in April, matching the consensus estimate and indicating that inflation at the retail level remains well contained.

S&P 500 futures fell 7.1 points to 1,111.6 and Nasdaq 100 futures fell 10.5 points to 1,877.5. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 49 points to 10,441.

U.S. stocks had slumped on Tuesday after news of the German short-sale ban, which bans naked short sales of 10 financials and euro-zone government bonds. The Dow industrials, the S&P 500 Index and the Nasdaq Composite all lost between 1.1% and 1.6%.

The German ban started Wednesday morning. Credit-default swaps of euro-zone nations tightened as speculators substituted the euro for their bets against Europe's fiscal health.

"Europe's troubles remain front and center, and the euro will remain the most watched of the major currencies," said analysts at Action Economics.

The euro /quotes/comstock/21o!x:seurusd (CUR_EURUSD 1.2314, +0.0131, +1.0753%) fell to a four-year low and recently was trading at $1.2246, and inflows into the dollar hit commodities, as platinum futures slumped fully $73 an ounce. Gold futures fell a more modest $6.20 an ounce, reflecting its safe-haven appeal.

Stocks in Europe dropped sharply, particularly financials like Barclays /quotes/comstock/13*!bcs/quotes/nls/bcs (BCS 16.74, -0.45, -2.62%) that aren't subject to the ban, while losses for German financials including Deutsche Bank /quotes/comstock/13*!db/quotes/nls/db (DB 59.50, +0.36, +0.61%) were limited to 2%. Asian equities also lost ground overnight.

Speaking after the ban was enacted, German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday said "a failure of the euro means a failure of Europe."

The German move was sharply criticized by market participants, notably the uncoordinated and sudden implementation. Christine Lagarde, France's finance minister, said her country had no plans to follow suit.

"We expect a period of ongoing retrenchment and perhaps consolidation while markets look to re-price risk and arrive at valuations that better reflect near-term risks to economic and earnings growth coming from China tightening, European austerity programs, a weak euro and banking reform stateside," said John Stoltzfus, a strategist at Ticonderoga Securities.

Meanwhile, minutes from the last Federal Reserve meeting on the U.S. economy and monetary policy are due at 2 p.m. Eastern.

Hewlett-Packard /quotes/comstock/13*!hpq/quotes/nls/hpq (HPQ 47.23, +0.44, +0.94%) rose 2.8% in pre-market trading, gaining after the computer giant reported 28% quarterly profit growth late Tuesday.

H-P "posted strong first-quarter earnings as pent-up demand for its technologies fueled revenue and earnings growth," said Michael Holt, analyst at Morningstar. "The results reaffirm our belief that HP is positioned for success across the hardware, printing, and service sectors."

Also on the earnings front, shares of Deere & Co. /quotes/comstock/13*!de/quotes/nls/de (DE 56.81, -0.35, -0.61%) gained nearly 3% after upping its annual earnings outlook.

And discounter Target /quotes/comstock/13*!tgt/quotes/nls/tgt (TGT 53.74, -0.48, -0.88%) said it was "very pleased" after reporting forecast-beating first-quarter earnings.

Steve Goldstein is MarketWatch's London bureau chief. Kate Gibson is a reporter for MarketWatch, based in New York.


NYSE Arca Morning Update - 08:30:00 ET

NYSE Arca Morning Update for Wednesday, May 19, 2010 :

STOCKS TRADING ON NYSE Arca AT A PRICE 15% OR MORE AWAY FROM
THE PREVIOUS TRADE DAY'S CONSOLIDATED CLOSE PRICE (AS OF 08:30:00 ET)

Stock Tuesday's Close Current Price Pct Change Current NYSE ARCA Vol
ZEUS $27.99 $38.58 37.8% 87,100
RPTP $3.49 $2.84 (18.7%) 825


10 MOST ACTIVE STOCKS ON NYSE ARCA AS OF 08:30:00 ET

BASED ON DOLLARS TRADED: | BASED ON SHARES TRADED:
Stock $ Volume Price PctChg | Stock Share Vol Price PctChg
SPY $314745518 $111.72 ( 0.6%) | C 5,751,207 $3.72 0.0%
GLD $50,705,547 $118.20 ( 1.0%) | SPY 2,817,391 $111.72 ( 0.6%)
QQQQ $32,162,370 $46.23 ( 0.4%) | QQQQ 695,733 $46.23 ( 0.4%)
C $21,224,220 $3.72 0.0% | XLF 460,800 $14.79 ( 0.9%)
AAPL $16,339,867 $249.89 ( 1.0%) | GLD 429,277 $118.20 ( 1.0%)
IWM $11,961,698 $67.88 ( 0.8%) | BAC 350,140 $15.79 ( 1.1%)
EEM $10,162,774 $38.07 ( 0.9%) | FAZ 324,208 $15.39 2.9%
FXE $9,464,592 $122.12 0.3% | F 292,054 $11.31 ( 2.1%)
SDS $9,449,800 $33.28 1.2% | SDS 283,896 $33.28 1.2%
BP $8,856,219 $45.80 0.9% | EEM 267,130 $38.07 ( 0.9%)


Price changes may be affected by symbol splits and dividends.

Consolidated close price is the last print (excluding prints with trade
conditions) prior to 4PM ET.

This information is also updated on our web page every morning at 8:35ET:
http://www.tradearca.com/data/volume/daily_update.asp

This material is for informational purposes only.
NYSE Euronext and its affiliates ("NYSE Arca") are not soliciting any action based upon it.
This material is not to be construed as an offer to buy or sell any security in any jurisdiction where such an offer or solicitation would be illegal.
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Is it time to bounce yet? -st0ckman


Ask yourself, do you want to be an expat or a refugee?

There are increasing numbers of Americans who are not only emigrating to other countries, but are renouncing their American citizenship as well. This trend has not been widely reported, but the coverage by mainstream publications such as the NY Times and Time Magazine of this growing practice indicates that this is not merely a passing phase. However, the major media has diverted attention on the economic rather than the political reasons for people fleeing the US.


It has now become common knowledge that the Federal Reserve Bank is not a part of the US government and is in fact controlled by a handful of banking families who have been at the helm of the US economy for several generations.

This was successfully kept from the attention of Americans by the corporate controlled media and only recently has come to light due to the efforts of Rep. Ron Paul and the late Arron Russo’s film, “America, From Freedom to Facsism” .

Previously, those who attempted to bring this issue to light were dismissed as “fringe groups” or “anti-government whackos”. Now that the world has become aware of this fraud of near Biblical proportions, it is the opinion of many that it is now only a matter of time before countries like China pull the plug of financial support through the purchase of US bonds and treasury notes. When that happens, the domino effect will be world wide and the epicenter of this economic tsunami will of course be the US.

Many trend forecasters such as Gerald Celente, Jim Rogers and Max Kaiser have been predicting the inevitability of economic collapse and revolution for years and as such have been dismissed just as those who screamed “FED fraud” for decades.


Full story:
Today’s Expat or Tomorrow’s Refugee? | EFAM | Escape From America Magazine

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Indications: U.S. stock futures slump on day one of German ban

Stock Assault 2.0 - Artificial Intelligence Stock Market Software Alert Email Print

By Steve Goldstein, MarketWatch

LONDON (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stock futures dropped Wednesday, the first day of the hastily-drawn-up German short-sale ban, which served to reinforce rather than dispel worries over the health of European governments and the lenders that possess their debt.

S&P 500 futures fell 13.7 points to 1,105.00 and Nasdaq 100 futures dropped 22.5 points to 1,865.50. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 110 points.

U.S. stocks slumped Tuesday after news of the German short-sale ban, which bans naked short sales of 10 financials and euro-zone government bonds. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite all lost between 1.1% and 1.6%.

The German ban started Wednesday morning. Credit-default swaps of euro-zone nations tightened as speculators substituted the euro for their bets against Europe's fiscal health.

The euro /quotes/comstock/21o!x:seurusd (CUR_EURUSD 1.2181, -0.0002, -0.0164%) fell below $1.22, a new four-year low, and the inflows into the dollar hit commodities, as platinum futures slumped $72 an ounce.

Gold futures fell a more modest $7 an ounce, reflecting its safe-haven appeal.

Crude oil futures also declined, losing $1.31 to $68.10 a barrel. Stocks in Europe dropped sharply, particularly financials like Barclays /quotes/comstock/13*!bcs/quotes/nls/bcs (BCS 17.19, -0.54, -3.05%) that aren't subject to the ban, while losses for German financials including Deutsche Bank /quotes/comstock/13*!db/quotes/nls/db (DB 59.14, -2.10, -3.43%) were limited to 2%. Asian equities also lost ground.

Speaking after the ban was enacted, German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday said "a failure of the euro means a failure of Europe."

The German move was sharply criticized by market participants, notably the uncoordinated and sudden implementation, as traders feared for broader implementation.

"We expect a period of ongoing retrenchment and perhaps consolidation while markets look to re-price risk and arrive at valuations that better reflect near-term risks to economic and earnings growth coming from China tightening, European austerity programs, a weak euro and banking reform stateside," said John Stoltzfun, a strategist at Ticoderoga Securities.

Outside of the German move, CPI data due at 8:30 a.m. Eastern will be a focus.

Hewlett-Packard /quotes/comstock/13*!hpq/quotes/nls/hpq (HPQ 46.79, -0.73, -1.54%) may be active after the computer giant reported a 28% profit rise.

"HP posted strong first-quarter earnings on Wednesday as pent-up demand for its technologies fueled revenue and earnings growth," said Michael Holt, an analyst at Morningstar. "The results reaffirm our belief that HP is positioned for success across the hardware, printing, and service sectors."

Discounter Target /quotes/comstock/13*!tgt/quotes/nls/tgt (TGT 54.22, -1.66, -2.97%) also will be in the spotlight following the profit growth but same-store sales decline reported by Wal-Mart Stores /quotes/comstock/13*!wmt/quotes/nls/wmt (WMT 53.71, +0.98, +1.85%) on Tuesday.

Steve Goldstein is MarketWatch's London bureau chief.


Pre Market Movers - Futures Trading - Nasdaq - NYSE

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