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wall street seen lower

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    LONDON, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Wall Street is expected to extend
    losses on Wednesday, in a quiet corporate agenda, with investors
    eyeing inflation data for clues on how much room central banks
    have to cut interest rates to help an ailing global economy.

    At 1056 GMT, Dow Jones futures were down 0.5 percent,
    S&P 500 <.SPc1> futures were down 0.6 percent, and Nasdaq
    futures traded 0.5 percent lower.

    The indicative Dow Jones index <.DJII>, which tracks how the
    Dow stocks are traded in Frankfurt, dropped 0.5 percent.

    European shares fell more than 1 percent early on Wednesday,
    with investors fretting over the health of financials as British
    lender Alliance & Leicester tumbled 14 percent after
    taking a writedown and warning of higher funding costs.

    "The general trend is still down," said Peter Dixon, an
    economist at Commerzbank in London.

    "There may be a bit of reality creeping into markets today
    after what has been a fairly sanguine couple of weeks."

    U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday as crude oil prices hit a record
    above $100 a barrel, fuelling concern that higher energy costs
    could fan inflation and crimp consumer spending and company

    The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> slipped 10.99
    points, or 0.09 percent, to end at 12,337.22. The Standard &
    Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> dipped 1.21 points, or 0.09 percent, to
    1,348.78. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> dropped 15.60
    points, or 0.67 percent, to close at 2,306.20.

    "We've got a bit of residual negative sentiment from
    yesterday. There's no real good news out there on the U.S.
    economy, equities have been enjoying a bit of a dead-cat
    bounce," said Dixon.

    Investors attempting to gauge inflation will eye U.S.
    Consumer Price Index (CPI) data for January at 1330 GMT.

    Commerzbank's Dixon said concern over CPI data was weighing
    on investors as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke recently
    seemed increasingly concerned about inflation.

    U.S. real earnings data for January is also due at 1330 GMT.

    The U.S. Federal Reserve Open Market Committee is due to
    issue minutes from its rate-setting meeting of Jan. 29-30, after
    the bell at 1900 GMT. The Fed slashed U.S. rates by a
    half-percentage point in January.


    A quiet corporate calendar brings fourth-quarter earnings
    results from Host Hotels & Resorts Inc , Terex ,
    TJX Co. Inc , Transocean Inc and Watson
    Pharmaceuticals Inc .

    Analog Devices is due to release first-quarter

    After the closing bell on Tuesday, shares in Crocs Inc
    dropped more than 11 percent to $28.36 after the maker
    of brightly coloured shoes provided a full-year profit forecast
    below Wall Street's estimates.

    Also in Tuesday's extended trade, shares of Hewlett-Packard
    Co rose 5 percent to $46.10 after the computer company
    reported quarterly revenues that beat Wall Street estimates.

    Investors will also eye Delta Air Lines after its
    chief executive told a U.S. senator on Tuesday there is no
    merger agreement yet with Northwest Airlines , but the
    two sides continue to work towards a deal. [ID:nWBT008410]

    MySpace, the online social networking site owned by News
    Corp , is in talks with music companies to launch an
    advertising-supported free music service, according to several
    reports on Wednesday. [ID:nN20324308]

    Microsoft Corp will authorize a proxy battle for
    Yahoo Inc this week to convince the Web company's
    shareholders to agree on a takeover deal that the Yahoo board so
    far has rejected, the New York Times' DealBook blog said on
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