* Coal shares weak after election
* Pfizer gets OK for rheumatoid arthritis treatment
* Futures off: Dow 113 pts, S&P 12.2 pts, Nasdaq 16.75 pts
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Nov 7 U.S. stock index futures were
set for a lower open on Wednesday in the wake of Barack Obama's
reelection as U.S. president as comments by European Central
Bank President Mario Draghi underscored the weakness in Europe's
With political uncertainty removed, investors will turn
their focus back to the looming "fiscal cliff" of some $600
billion in spending cuts and tax increases that are due to kick
in next year and could derail the U.S. economic recovery.
Europe will also garner attention as Greece's ruling
coalition hopes to overcome its own divisions and defy
protesters Wednesday to push through an austerity package needed
to secure aid and avert bankruptcy.
ECB President Draghi said the bank expects the euro zone
economy to remain weak "in the near term" and euro zone
governments must press ahead with efforts to forge closer
financial, fiscal, economic and political union.
"Unfortunately, the honeymoon doesn't last very long in real
time and we knew that regardless of the outcome of the election,
our focus would immediately be shifted to the fiscal cliff,
which is going to be difficult in and of itself," said Art
Hogan, managing director of Lazard Capital Markets in New York.
"Away from that, we had moved European concerns to the
backburner in the near term, and we are going to get back to
focusing on them as well - we haven't changed the makeup of a
global economy with an election in the United States, and like
it or not, we have to shift our focus back to that."
Energy shares may come under pressure, as companies in the
sector will likely see more regulation in Obama's second term,
with less access to federal lands and water, even as the
administration promotes energy independence.
Alpha Natural Resources Inc dropped 7.5 percent to
$8.90, Arch Coal Inc lost 9.4 percent to $7.85 and James
River Coal Co tumbled 17 percent to $3.90 in premarket
Healthcare stocks may also see some volatility, as President
Obama's reelection rules out the possibility of a wholesale
repeal of his healthcare reform law, but questions remain as to
what parts of the domestic policy will be implemented.
S&P 500 futures fell 12.2 points and were below fair
value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account
interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the
contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures lost 113
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures declined 16.75 points.
Pfizer Inc's Xeljanz treatment for rheumatoid
arthritis, one of the company's potentially most lucrative
experimental drugs, was approved by U.S. regulators late Tuesday
and is now poised to compete with Abbott Laboratories Inc's
top-selling Humira. Pfizer shares edged up 0.2 percent
to $24.75 in premarket trading.
Macy's Inc gained 0.5 percent to $41.58 in premarket
after the department store retailer reported a higher
third-quarter profit, helped by sales gains, and raised its
full-year profit outlook.
Other S&P 500 companies scheduled to post earnings include
Mondelez International Inc, Monster Beverage Corp
, Whole Foods Market Inc and Qualcomm Inc
European stocks pared early gains and briefly turned flat
around midday on Wednesday, as nagging worries over the euro
zone crisis eclipsed an initial relief over U.S. President
Barack Obama's reelection.
Asian shares rose amid relief that the U.S. election result
was clear cut. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares
outside Japan gained 0.9 percent to an
eight-month high, after spending much of the session in and out
of negative territory.