Morning Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

Tickers in this article: AXP WMT GM ZNGA

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were suggesting a lower open for Wall Street on Monday after the World Bank cut its growth forecasts for Asia.

European stocks were trading lower while Asian shares finished Monday's trading session with losses. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell 0.9% to 20,824.56. Markets in Japan were closed for a holiday.

The World Bank cut its growth outlook in 2012 for developing Asia-Pacific economies to 7.2% from the forecast it made in May of 7.6%. The growth forecast for China was trimmed to 7.7% from 8.2%.


The economic calendar in the U.S. Monday is light because of the Columbus Day holiday. Banks and the bond market will be closed.


U.S. stocks on Friday finished mixed as weakness in technology stocks negated much of the early euphoria over a surprise decline in the unemployment rate in September.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up nearly 35 points, or 0.26%, to 13,610.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday that U.S. nonfarm payrolls rose by 114,000 in September, just slightly ahead of the 113,000 consensus estimate. The unemployment rate came in at a 44-month low of 7.8%, down from 8.1%, as the labor force participation rate edged up to 63.6% versus 63.5% previously; economists were predicting the unemployment rate had risen to 8.2%.


Hugo Chavez won another six-year term as Venezuela's president.

Chavez won 54.4% of the vote, while opposition candidate Henrique Capriles took 44.9%. Chavez won his fourth presidential election since 1998.


California Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday ordered state smog regulators to allow winter-blend gasoline to be sold in California earlier than usual to bring down prices.

On Sunday, the statewide average price for a gallon of regular gasoline rose to an all-time high, hitting $4.655, according to AAA.


Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) , the world's biggest retailer, and American Express (AXP) plan to hold a conference call Monday to make a financial services announcement.

"Walmart and American Express are committed to providing innovative financial services solutions to help consumers reduce costs and better manage their everyday finances," the two companies said in a statement. The conference call begins at 8:30 a.m. EDT.


Zynga (ZNGA) , the social gaming company, saw its shares fall 12% to $2.48 on Friday after it forecast a loss for the third quarter and lowered its full-year outlook.


General Motors (GM) said it and its joint ventures in China sold 244,266 vehicles in the country in September, an increase of 1.7% from last year.


Taiwan's HTC, the world's fifth-largest maker of smartphones, said third-quarter profit declined 79%.


-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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