Futures Flat After Fall; RIM Moves Lower
Stock index futures were mostly flat at the open following Tuesday's sharp selloff, as investors continued to sift through the details of the governments new bank bailout plan.
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The precipitous drop Tuesday was ignited by uncertainty over Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's plan to rescue banks.
Major averages slipped nearly 5 percent as the Obama administration came under fire for not being specific enough on a number of fronts for how it would save the ailing financials.
The indexes had drifted slightly above fair value levels based mostly on bargain hunting in banks shares and a smattering of earnings that surprised to the upside.
BlackBerry maker Reserach in Motion released an outlook that disappointed investors. The company said ti was worried about consumer weakness and the impact it would have on sales.
RIM shares fell more than 12 percent in premarket trading.
That was offset somewhat as profit at Sanofi Aventisdropped 76 percent on a charge, but was better than expectations. Shares gained 6 percent premarket.
But the news didn't get any better for the new construction industry, as Toll Brothers forecast a 51 percent decline in building revenue. Shares fell 3.4 percent premarket.
Also, shares of big banks were recouping some of the dramatic losses they suffered following the Geithner announcement.
JPMorgan Chase , which lost nearly 10 percent Tuesday, was called 2.1 percent higher before the Wednesday market open, while Bank of America, which fell more than 19 percent yesterday, gained 4.5 percent premarket.
Though it is a penny stock, SiriusXM was drawing investor attention after the New York Times reported the company is considering filing for bankruptcy. Separately, satellite mogul Charles Ergen has offered to inject several hundred million dollars of capital into the company but will not be buying out existing shareholders, according to the Wall Street Journal.
SiriusXM shares tumbled more than 40 percent premarket.
American International Group rose more than 3 percent after it said it was in talks to sell its US auto insurance unit to Zurich Financial Services in a deal that could net AIG $2 billion.
Markets in Europe and Asia were mostly lower, with money flowing into government bonds.
Oil prices were higher after the American Petroleum Institute reported a surprise drop in crude inventories.
In European earnings, Credit Suisse reported its largest-ever annual loss after bad trading performance and restructuring charges, but also said it is off to a strong start this year.
ArcelorMittal, the world's top steel company, reported its first-ever loss.