U.S. Stocks Expected to Open Lower

U.S. stocks are set to open lower Monday, taking their lead from the declines in Asia and Europe.

Dow Jones futures fell 28 points recently to 9,830. Nasdaq futures were 6 points weaker, and S&P futures were down about 4 points.

Blue-chip stocks and technology issues took hits, hurt by a big charge at Intel Corp. and news of weaker-than-expected growth in the labor market. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 68.14, or 0.7 percent, to 9,862.68 on Friday, a session after closing at an 18-month high of 9,930.82. For the week, the gauge rose 80.22, or 0.8 percent.

In corporate news, Freddie Mac named Richard Syron as its new chairman and chief executive. The former head of the American Stock Exchange replaces Greg Parseghian, who was asked to step down after federal regulators determined he played a role in a series of accounting misdeeds.

On Friday, Qwest Communications sharply boosted the size of its tender offer for debt securities maturing in 2005 through 2007. The company said it increased its cash tender offer to $3 billion of the notes from $2.25 billion because of "strong participation" in the offer. To date, Qwest said, $3.1 billion in notes have been were tendered.

Hovnanian Enterprises is expected to release earnings after the closing bell Monday. Analysts expect the company to report earnings of $2.68 for the fourth-quarter. Remec is expected to report a third-quarter loss 1-cent a share.

No economic news is expected to be reported Monday. BEGIN POSITION 3 END POSITION 3

In London, the FTSE 100 Index declined 14.5 points recently, to 4,352.5, as the market shrugs off data that show better-than-expected October industrial production at 1 percent month-on-month. Other data show inflationary pressures mounting as both output and input November PPI figures were higher than expected. Other European indexes also were down.

In Japan, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average dropped 328.12 points, or 3.2 percent, to 10,045.34 on broad-based selling amid a lack of fresh domestic buying incentives and the repercussions of Friday's dropoff.

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