(By Balachander) U.S. stock index futures declined and U.S. equity markets will be closed as Hurricane Sandy is expected to hit the East Coast later in the day.
Mini Dow Industrial Average futures dropped 88 points to 12,966. The Nasdaq futures shed 23.25 points to 2,635.75. Standard and Poor's 500 futures fell 9.50 points to 1,398.10.
As a result of the securities industry decision to close U.S. equities markets on Monday because of Hurricane Sandy, CME Group will be closing its U.S. equity index futures and equity index options on futures markets on the trading floor and on CME Globex at 9:15 a.m. ET.
In consultation with other exchanges and market participants, NYSE Euronext (NYX) said it will close its markets on Monday, Oct. 29, 2012 and pending confirmation on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012.
On Friday, U.S. stocks ended on a mixed note after better-than-expected third quarter GDP data. Disappointing earnings continue to weigh on investor sentiment.
U.S. personal income rose 0.4 percent and personal spending increased 0.8 percent for September, a data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis showed. Economists expected a 0.4 percent increase in income and a 0.6 percent rise in spending.
In corporate news, Loews Corp. (NYSE: L) posted an increase in quarterly earnings on higher net investment income and insurance premiums. Earnings attributable to Loews were $177 million or $0.45 per share for the third quarter, up from $162 million or $0.40 per share in the comparable period of last year. Revenue increased 8.2 percent to $3.71 billion as net investment income more than doubled to $682 million. Insurance premiums grew 3 percent.
Harris Corp. (NYSE: HRS), an international communications and information technology company, reported a first quarter loss due to additional impairment charges from discontinued Cyber Integrated Solutions and Broadcast Communications operations.
Clean Harbors Inc. (NYSE: CLH) is paying $1.25 billion to acquire Safety-Kleen Inc., a provider of recycling and environmental services, to expand its waste treatment offerings.
Riverbed Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: RVBD) agreed to acquire OPNET Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: OPNT)for $43 per share in cash and stock, representing an equity value of $1 billion and an enterprise value of $921 million.
Burger King Worldwide Inc. (NYSE: BKW) initiated a quarterly cash dividend of $0.04 per share and also posted better-than-expected quarterly earnings.
European markets fell, with Germany's DAX off 0.76 percent to trade at 7,177.07. France's CAC40 lost 1.09 percent to trade at 3,397.58. U.K.'s FTSE 100 traded at 5,769.36, down 0.64 percent.
Among Asian markets, China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index dropped 0.35 percent to end at 2,058.94. Japan's Nikkei 225 shed 0.04 percent to finish at 8,929.34. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 0.16 percent to close at 21,511.05. India's BSE Sensex ended at 18.635.82, up 0.06 percent.
Crude oil futures shed 0.46 percent to $85.88 per barrel. Gold futures declined 0.17 percent to $1,709 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro fell 0.32 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.2898. The British pound retreated 0.43 percent against the greenback to 1.6038, and the dollar declined 0.03 percent against the Japanese yen to 79.6200.