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U.S. stocks were set to open lower Wednesday, as gloomy comments about the economic outlook from Fed chairman Ben Bernanke continue to weigh on investors.
U.S. stocks closed lower Tuesday, after Bernanke dashed hopes that the central bank would provide additional economic stimulus.
Economy: The Federal Reserve will release its "Beige Book" at 18:00 GMT Wednesday. The book is a collection of economic anecdotal observations by the Fed's 12 regional banks. It's used by the central banks as part of their decision making regarding interest rates.
Companies: Shares of Citigroup (C, Fortune 500) slipped nearly 1% in premarket trading, after the bank agreed to sell a $1.7 billion portfolio of private equity assets to Axa Private Equity Wednesday.
LDK Solar (LDK) shares fell more than 2% after the company issued a cautious outlook.
Prudential Financial Inc. (PRU, Fortune 500) said late Tuesday it will buy back $1.5 billion in stock by the end of the month, sending shares of the company nearly 1% higher in premarket trading.
Shares of Ford (F, Fortune 500) rose nearly 1% before the market open Wednesday, a day after the auto giant announced plans to boost sales worldwide by 50%.
Retailer Men's Wearhouse Inc. (MW) will report quarterly earning results after the market close.
Other stocks on the move included eBay (EBAY, Fortune 500), JDS Uniphase (JDSU) and Radiosack (RSH, Fortune 500).
Oil for July delivery dipped 63 cents to $98.46 a barrel. OPEC is holding a meeting Wednesday in Vienna, during which the organization is expected to boost oil production.
Gold futures for August delivery fell $10.60 to $1,533.40 an ounce.
The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury edged up, pushing the yield down to 2.97% from 2.99% late Tuesday.
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