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What's Behind This Morning's Weakness

Bob Pisani is off today, this post was written by CNBC producer Robert Hum

Just off the lows of the day, futures point to a slightly lower open on this last trading day of the week. The markets are on pace for their fourth straight week of declines – their longest losing streak since February/March.

This morning’s weakness comes following some disappointing corporate outlooks as well as the modest rebound in the dollar. The firming of the dollar is also causing commodities to fall in early morning trading, with crude oil falling to a 2-month low at just below $59 per barrel.

A couple of overseas markets are attracting attention too. China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite is essentially at a 52-week high – rising 87 percent from its October low. Japan, however, is seeing its major index, the Nikkei 225, fall for the eight straight day – dropping to 2-month lows.

Elsewhere this morning:

1) GM is expected to emerge from bankruptcy this morning, just a mere 40 days after its bankruptcy filing. As part of its exit plan, GM will sell its good assets to the government-controlled “New GM” company.

2) Shares of Chevron fall 2 percent pre-open after providing a very cautious Q2 forecast. The company warned that downstream results would be “significantly lower in the first quarter” from the prior quarter amid tighter refining margins due to rising crude oil prices. Additionally, the oil giant warned that any benefits that higher oil prices had on its upstream results were offset by the effects of the weaker dollar,

3) Engineering firm Shaw Group is down 8 percent pre-open. Its Q3 earnings missed estimates as rising costs associated with 2 of its fossil contracts put pressure on its bottom line. The company also lowers its full-year earnings outlook below the Street’s consensus to $2 per share, down from prior guidance of $2.10-$2.30 per share.

4) Pharmaceutical drug distributor AmerisourceBergen reaffirmed its 2009 earnings guidance. The company sees earnings between $1.59 and $1.65, in-line with analyst estimates of $1.63.

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  • A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

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