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Minyanville's Before The Bell: Northern Rock Continues Slide, U.S. Futures Point to Lower Opening


Northern Rock continues to scare. Customers run to the bank. U.S. futures are cautious ahead of tomorrow's Fed meeting.

Stock futures are pointed toward a lower opening. As of 7:20 AM EST, S&P futures are down by 8.9 points to 1489, and Nasdaq futures are down by 9 points to 2016.

Markets in Asia ended mixed. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell -1.2%, and India's Sensex fell -0.6%.

South Korea's Kospi gained +0.09%. Chipmakers were under pressure as news of the U.S. Department of Justice spread that it was investigating into alleged anticompetitive practices in the flash memory chips market. Among the notable companies that received subpoenas were Toshiba (TOSBF), SanDisk (SNDK), and Samsung. In addition, SanDisk stated it has also received a notice from the Canadian Competition Bureau that it has begun an industry-wide investigation of alleged anticompetitive practices. (From WSJ)

In other parts, Taiwan's TAIEX fell -1.46%, and Japan's Nikkei gained 1.94%.

In the U.K markets are trading lower. The DAX is down -0.51%, the CAC is down -1.54%, and the FTSE is down -1.7%.

Investors continued to be concerned with Northern Rock, as the U.K.'s fifth-largest mortgage lender's stock tumbled another 32%. Customers continued a classic run on the bank over the weekend withdrawing approximately $4 bln, about 8% of Northern Rock's total. (From Bloomberg) Read Professor Depew's Five Things You Need To Know from Friday for more color on this developing situation.

European Central Bank Vice President Lucas Papademos is also making headlines this morning stating the market turbulence has not altered the basic economic scenario. Papademos urged markets to understand that the ECB clearly distinguishes between its money-market operations and monetary policy, hinting that the ECB policy remains with a tightening bias. (From Dow Jones)

In the U.S., former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan is causing investor anxiety. In a "60 Minutes" interview, Greenspan commented that the U.S. economy is "pretty gloomy" and that it is unclear whether current financial market turmoil will have a deep, lasting impact on the economy. (From Thomson) Get Toddo's views in his new article Sunset Grille: The FOMC And Brokerage Earnings To Shape The Road Ahead.

Also adding to the pressure in financials is news that Goldman Sachs' (GS) Global Equity Opportunities hedge fund lost 1.8% in the first week of September, continuing its decline. (From BTIG) For more stock-specific ideas, please click on Minyanville's Stocks To Watch.

Here's a preview of what's on the radar for today. Remember that a number of financials report this week with Lehman Brothers (LEH) starting it off tomorrow before the bell. Also the all-important FOMC policy statement is tomorrow afternoon. Click here for the full trading radar and be prepared with our analysis of the Fed's decision-making with our Fed Package located on our Economy page.


8:30 NY Empire State Index: 18.0 cons.

Keep checking back with us for continuous analysis and information you need to know at our News & Views section. Have a good day, Minyans! Good luck and Good Trading!
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