U.S. Futures Sharply Lower On Japan; Dow Drops 0.74%

Forex Pros – U.S. stock futures pointed to a lower open on Monday, as markets assessed the financial impact of the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan’s northeastern coast on Friday.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 0.74%, the S&P 500 futures dropped 0.76%, while futures on the Nasdaq 100 tumbled 0.83%.

Earlier in the day, Japan’s Jiji news agency said that a reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, north of Tokyo, lost its cooling system, following a hydrogen explosion at another reactor and a fuel rod meltdown could not be ruled out.

Shares of General Electric sank 2.15% in premarket trading. The company designed all six of the reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. 

Uranium producers also fell heavily amid concerns damage to Japanese nuclear power plants would hurt demand for reactor fuel and after officials in China, India and the U.S. called for a review of atomic energy plans.

Denison Mines saw shares plunge 19.1%, while Uranium Energy saw shares tumble 20.6% ahead of the open.

Meanwhile, shares in U.S. conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway lost 1.35% in pre-market trade after it agreed to acquire specialty-chemicals firm Lubrizol in a deal valued at approximately USD9.7 billion. Shares in Lubrizol soared 26.85% following the news.

Elsewhere Monday, shares in discount retailer Family Dollar Stores climbed 2.2% after it said that second quarter sales at stores open at least one year rose 5.1%, while net sales increased 8.3% to USD2.26 billion. 

The world’s largest casino operator Las Vegas Sands saw shares drop 1.85% in pre-market trade after JP Morgan downgraded the stock to ‘hold’.

Other stocks in focus on Monday included Hewlett-Packard and Chevron, which were both due to hold analyst meetings later in the day.   

In Europe, the EURO STOXX 50 was down 0.64%, Germany’s DAX tumbled 1.31%, while the FTSE 100 lost 0.32%.

During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index closed 0.45% lower, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index plunged 6.2%, suffering its worst one-day performance in more than two years.

No significant economic reports are on the calendar for Monday, but Tuesday will bring the release of the latest policy statement from the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee.

ForexPros.com – Forex Pros offers a diverse set of professional tools for Forex, Futures and CFDs. These include real-time data streams, technical and fundamental analysis by in-house experts, and a widely used economic calendar and Forex News.

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