Stock Futures Signal Lower Wall Street Open

According to Reuters, Stock index futures pointed to a lower open for equities on Wall Street on Monday, with futures for the S&P 500, the Dow Jones and the Nasdaq 100 falling 0.1 to 0.5 percent. Blackstone Group LP (BX.N) is expected to announce a $2 billion equity investment in Cheniere Energy Partners (CQP.A) on Monday as a bet on U.S. natural-gas exports, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter. National Association of Realtors issues pending home sales data for January at 10 a.m. ET. Economists expect a 1.0 percent rise, compared with a 3.5 percent drop in the previous month.

U.S. Commerce Department releases January building permit revisions. The original figure reported in January was 676,000.

The trial to decide who should pay for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill has been delayed by a week, to allow BP Plc (BP.L) to try to cut a deal with tens of thousands of businesses and individuals affected by the disaster.

Warren Buffett told investors on Saturday the Berkshire Hathaway (BRKa.N) board has identified his successor, easing some shareholder concern about the future of the company once the famed 81-year-old investor steps down as chief executive.

The “Intel Inside” logo on hundreds of millions of personal computers is finally making its way onto a smartphone. France Telecom’s mobile unit Orange will launch a smartphone in France and the United Kingdom this summer designed by Intel (INTC.O) and using its newest processor.

Tianjin, China’s sixth-largest city, has held preliminary talks with Comcast Corp’s (CMCSA.O) NBC Universal about a joint venture to build a theme park in the port city, according to the head of a Chinese trade delegation visiting Los Angeles.

Home improvement chain Lowe’s (LOW.N) will report its quarterly results, which are expected to show that profit increased to 24 cents per share from 21 cents per share.

European shares fell 1 percent on Monday on concerns about high oil prices affecting company earnings and global growth, and as the Group of 20 countries said Europe must commit more money to fight the debt crisis before seeking their help.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Sunday that Europe’s actions so far to deal with its debt crisis have averted potential financial catastrophe but said it still must put up a sturdier firewall against contagion.

The S&P 500 rose on Friday to close at the highest level since before the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, continuing a pattern of steady gains on signs of U.S. economic recovery.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI dipped 1.74 points to close flat at 12,982.95. The S&P 500 Index .INX gained 2.28 points, or 0.17 percent, to 1,365.74. The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC rose 6.77 points, or 0.23 percent, to 2,963.75.

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