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US STOCKS-Wall St to fall at open as Ukraine tension continues
March 14, 2014 / 1:06 PM / 4 years ago

US STOCKS-Wall St to fall at open as Ukraine tension continues

* Producer prices fall in February

* UMich consumer sentiment data on tap

* General Mills falls after outlook

* Aeropostale drops after earnings

* Futures off: Dow 39 pts, S&P 3.5 pts, Nasdaq 4.25 pts

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, March 14 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were poised to open lower on Friday, putting the S&P 500 on track for a second consecutive fall after suffering its biggest decline since early February, as tensions in Ukraine continued to unnerve investors.

* Equities tumbled on Thursday on rising concerns over Ukraine and Russia and new signs of an economic slowdown in China.

* U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will seek assurances from Russia on Friday that it will not seek to annex Crimea and will address concerns over Ukraine through negotiation, a senior State Department official said before talks in London.

* Kerry’s meeting is an attempt to defuse tension between Moscow and the West ahead of a referendum, which looks set to proceed on Sunday, that will decide whether Crimea, a Russian-majority region of Ukraine, will become part of Russia.

* Russia’s navy said fighter jets had started training exercises over the Mediterranean Sea, an announcement likely to raise tensions in the standoff with Ukraine.

* Producer prices fell 0.1 percent in February, dragged down by falling costs for services, offering little sign of inflation pressures.

* The preliminary Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers for March is due at 9:55 a.m. (1355 GMT). Expectations call for an 82 reading.

* S&P 500 e-mini futures fell 3.5 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 were down 39 points and Nasdaq 100 futures lost 4.25 points.

* General Mills Inc fell 3.2 percent to $49.36 in premarket trade after it warned third-quarter earnings would fall below analysts’ expectations as it faces increased competition from store brands and spends more on marketing its yogurts.

* General Motors Co fell 1.1 percent to $33.70 in premarket. The automaker is facing increasing pressure to compensate victims for an ignition defect that prompted the recall of 1.6 million vehicles.

* Cooper Tire & Rubber Co gained 5.2 percent to $24 in premarket after the company reported fourth-quarter earnings.

* Aeropostale Inc slumped 17.1 percent before the opening bell after the teen apparel retailer reported its fifth straight quarterly loss.

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