Falling oil and weaker global markets are the backdrop for alikely lower opening in U.S. stocks this morning. Saudi Arabia's oil minister Ali Naimi knocked the wind out of oil prices early today. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Naimi said he was satisfied with market conditions and that OPEC may not need to change output.
, and stocks in Asia took a hit from technology selling that started on Wall Street Friday with Micron's surprise comments about flash memory demand.
TECH FOCUS: Cell phone and device makers should be in the spotlight this week as Europe's big 3GSM annual mobile phone conference takes place in Barcelona. Ahead of that conference, Yahoo announced a deal with big corporate advertisers to use its ad system to run brand ads on mobile phones in 18 countries. Rival Google , meanwhile,is being accused by a group of major media companies of benefiting from the sale of pirated movies and helping web sites that offer illegal downloads, reports the Wall Street Journal.
Intel is also making news today. It will demonstrate an experimental chip today that has 80 separate processing engines.
NO DEAL: Nasdaq over the weekendbecame the clear loser in its second bid for the London Stock Exchange. The failed bid raises questions about Nasdaq's future and international strategy. Another potential cross border deal has apparently failed before it got started. The London Times reported over the weekend that Sanofi wouldnot bid for Bristol-Myers.
G7: U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and other finance ministers agreed at their meeting in Germany this weekend to explore ways to remove excessive financial regulations that hinder companies doing business globally. The G7, in its communiqué, agreed vigilance is necessary on the possible risks hedge funds and credit derivatives could have for markets. The G7 did not make an official comment on the weakness of the Japanese yen as some had expected, but it did discuss its view on China's move toward currency flexibility. The U.S.. dollar gained on the yen overnight.
HOT DEALS: India is overheating or so the pundits have been saying for weeks. Remember the Economist cover earlier this month with concern about India, and the picture of a tiger with the tip of its tail on fire. Well that red hot market was in the news this weekend with two big mergers. One involved the cell phone operator Hutchison Essar, which serves India's fast growing cell phone market. Vodafone will acquire a majority stake in the company for $11.1 billion. Also, India's Hindalco is buying Novelis of Canada, an aluminum producer, for $3.43 billion.
OIL SLICK: Oil is sliding this morning on those Saudi comments.This after a rocking week last week which saw big price swings. Oil closed up 1.5 percent for the week at $59.89 a barrel, unable to hold above the psychological $60 a barrel level traders have been focused on.
AROUND THE WORLD: No doubt traders will be watching international news, including Russian President Putin's harsh words about the U.S. this weekend and Iran's pledge to pursue its nuclear strategy. Iran today denied U.S. claims that it is supplying extremists in Iraq with weapons. Negotiations with North Korea over its nuclear program appear to have hit a snag over North Korean demands for energy aid.
POLITICS: Sen. Barak Obama (D-Ill) declared he would run for president over the weekend, and his top Democratic rival, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), campaigned in New Hampshire. Our John Harwood will report from New Hampshire today.