Wall Street futures point to weaker start

Tue Jan 5, 2010 4:58am EST

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* Futures for the Dow Jones industrial average DJc1, the S&P 500 SPc1 and the Nasdaq 100 NDc1 fell 0.02 to 0.2 percent, pointing to a weaker start on Wall Street on Tuesday.

* Kraft Foods Inc KFT.N sweetened its 10.2 billion pounds ($16.4 billion) offer for Britain's Cadbury Plc CBRY.L with cash from a deal to sell its North American pizza unit to Swiss food giant Nestle (NESN.VX). [ID:nLDE6040C0]

* Nestle said it had no intention to bid for the British confectioner ending speculation about one potential rival bidder [ID:nLDE60405M]. Cadbury has so far rejected Kraft's attentions describing the latest bid on Tuesday as derisory.

* Kraft said it would use the full net proceeds of the $3.7 billion pizza business sale to fund a partial cash alternative to Cadbury shareholders, raising the cash portion of the deal by 60 pence a share, but keeping the overall size of the offer unchanged. Kraft shares in Frankfurt (KFT.F) were up 0.4 percent.

* ICSC/Goldman Sachs release at 1245 GMT chain store sales for the week ended Jan. 2 versus the prior week. In the previous week, sales rose 0.4 percent.

* Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN.VX) has been sued by property owners in four luxury ski and golf resorts, alleging the Swiss bank concocted a loan scheme to defraud them and ultimately take over the properties. [ID:nN04233582]

* At 1355 GMT, Redbook releases its Retail Sales Index of department and chain store sales for December versus November. In the prior period, sales fell 4.5 percent.

* Commerce Department releases at 1500 GMT November factory orders. Economists in a Reuters survey expect a rise of 0.5 percent compared with a 0.6 percent rise in the prior month.

* Google Inc (GOOG.O) is expected to unveil its highly anticipated Nexus One smartphone on Tuesday, marking a first foray into an increasingly crowded market that could shape the future of the company's advertising business.

* Apple Inc (AAPL.O) is set to announce a new tablet device later this month, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, as anticipation builds about what could be the company's biggest product launch since the iPhone. [ID:nN04250043]

* The world's top mobile phone maker, Nokia (NOK1V.HE), has launched another court case against Apple for alleged patent violations, in an increasingly fierce legal battle between the two leaders of the smartphone market. [ID:nLDE6040E9]

* Apple is set to announce it has acquired mobile advertising company Quattro Wireless for $275 million, the Wall Street Journal-affiliated blog All Things Digital reported late Monday. An announcement could come as early as Tuesday, said the report, which cited unnamed sources.

* At 1500 GMT, National Association of Realtors issues Pending Home Sales for November. Economists in a Reuters survey expect a 2.0 percent decline compared with a 3.7 percent rise in the previous month.

* An independent committee of directors of eye care firm Alcon ACL.N is disappointed with a takeover bid from Novartis (NOVN.VX), saying the Swiss drugmaker is trying to circumvent protections for minority shareholders. [ID:nLDE6040CX]

* U.S. automakers release December auto sales. Economists in a Reuters survey expect median annualized sales of 3.90 million cars and 4.45 million trucks. In November, the figures were 3.87 million cars and 4.44 million trucks.

* China's yuan is facing a new round of appreciation pressure and expectations of a stronger currency will attract speculative capital inflows, complicating liquidity management, a senior official said in comments published on Tuesday. [ID:nTOE604056]

* Oil edged up towards $82 a barrel, rising for the ninth straight session, as cold snaps in key consumers the United States and Europe boosted demand for heating fuel.

* U.S. stocks climbed broadly on Monday after a report showed the manufacturing sector expanded for a fifth straight month, lifting confidence in the global economy as investors eye fourth quarter earnings.

* The rally, which marked the first trading day of 2010, drove both the Dow and the S&P 500 to their highest closes in 15 months, while the Nasdaq ended at a 16-month high.

* European shares dipped in early trade on Tuesday, retreating from a 15-month high as investors booked a small portion of recent lofty gains ahead of key U.S. macro data. Japan's Nikkei average hit a 15-month closing high on Tuesday. (Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Mike Nesbit)

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