US pre-open: Slight falls expected ahead of economic data

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LONDON (ShareCast) - The major US equity benchmarks are now being called to open lower by 0.2% on average. That despite news that German chancellor Angela Merkel will study a proposal for common liabilities on sovereign debt. Reports regarding the likelihood of a significantly weaker than expected outlook for bank lending in China, in 2012, are also weighing down equity futures. Back on the company front, Dell (NasdaqGS: DELL - news) is to acquire Quest software (NasdaqGS: QSFT - news) . Shares in Talbots (NYSE: TLB - news) are plummeting on news that Sycamore Networks (NasdaqGS: SCMR - news) has finally decided not to acquire it. Illinois Tool Works (Dusseldorf: 940785.DU - news) may rise on the back of positive broker comments out of JP Morgan. Verifone is off by 7% in 'pre-market' trades. To be had in account, next Monday Wall Street will be closed in observance of Memorial Day, which may weigh on trading volumes today. Consumer confidence data due out at 3PM The definitive results of the University of Michigan's consumer confidence survey for the month of May will be released shortly (Consensus: 77.8). Long dated Treasuries move higher Front month West Texas crude futures are rising by 0.07% to the $90.72 per barrel mark in NYMEX trading. 10 year US Treasuries are now rising by 8/32 dollars, with yields at 1.75%. AB