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u.s. stocks seen opening flat; oil data awaited

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    Adds details, updates prices)
    By Michael Flaherty
    NEW YORK, Dec 29 (Reuters) - Stocks were set to open flat
    on Wednesday as investors take a breather after Tuesday's
    run-up and hope for direction from U.S. oil inventory data to
    be released later in the morning.
    Genzyme Corp. shares rose overseas a day after U.S.
    regulators approved a new cancer drug from the company for
    treating a type of childhood leukemia.
    Shares of Boeing Co. may come under pressure on a Wall
    Street Journal report that China doesn't plan to approve new
    airline purchases next year.
    S&P 500 futures were down 1.4 points, below fair value
    accounting for dividends, interest rates and time to expiration
    on the contract.
    Dow Jones industrial index fell 11 points, while Nasdaq 100
    futures inched up a half point.
    "Yesterday we had a good run, so we're getting some
    pressure on the downside," said Brian Williamson, vice
    president of equity trading at The Boston Co. Asset Management.
    "The oil inventory data will be watched carefully." Williamson
    added that volume remains light, with much of Wall Street on
    holiday vacation."
    Oil prices edged higher ahead of U.S. government data
    expected to show a slight decline in winter heating fuel
    stocks. The data are due at 10:30 a.m. (1530 GMT)
    U.S. light crude oil futures were up 6 cents at $41.83 a
    barrel. Rising oil prices can be a drag on stocks, as investors
    worry that higher energy costs will pinch profits.
    American Airlines parent company AMR Corp. forecast a
    decline in revenue in the fourth quarter, according to a filing
    with U.S. regulators on Tuesday.
    Shares of struggling teen clothing retailer Wet Seal Inc.
    rose more than 4 percent in extended hours of trading on
    Tuesday after it said it will close about 150 stores and lay
    off about 2,000 employees as part of a major restructuring.
    Sales of existing U.S. homes are due at 10 a.m. (1500 GMT),
    and economists expect the pace of home sales was unchanged in
    November from October at 6.75 million units at an annual rate.
    On Tuesday, the Dow and the Nasdaq closed at their highest
    levels in 3-1/2 years, while the S&P closed at its highest
    since August 2001.

 
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