European Stocks, U.S. Index Futures Fall

Stocks fell in Europe, led by technology shares, and U.S. index futures dropped after Infineon Technologies AG and Research In Motion Ltd. reported earnings that disappointed investors.

Infineon, Europe’s second-largest maker of semiconductors, tumbled 26 percent on a wider-than-expected net loss. ASML Holding NV and Nokia Oyj sank more than 2 percent. Research In Motion, whose BlackBerry competes against Apple Inc.’s iPhone, declined 5.4 percent after third-quarter profit missed its forecast.

Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index lost 1.2 percent to 194.91 at 12:53 p.m. in London, extending this year’s retreat to 47 percent. More than $31 trillion has been erased from the value of global equities as the collapse of the U.S. mortgage market sparked financial turmoil that pushed economies into recession.

Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures slipped 1.5 percent before a report that will probably show service industries shrank in November at the fastest pace on record, sending the world’s largest economy deeper into what may become the worst recession in decades. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.9 percent.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 1.3 percent as GST Holdings Ltd., a Chinese fire-alarm maker, and China Mobile Ltd. rallied.

National benchmarks slid in 12 of the 18 western European markets. The FTSE 100 lost 0.4 percent, as Stagecoach Group Plc slipped after forecasting tough times ahead. France’s CAC 40 dropped 1 percent, led by Electricite de France SA after it bid $4.5 billion for half of Constellation Energy Group Inc.’s nuclear power business. Germany’s DAX slid 1.2 percent.

Japanese stocks rebounded from yesterday’s plunge after recession-conscious consumers boosted sales at discount retailers and lower oil prices brightened the earnings prospects for utilities.  The Nikkei 225 Stock Average climbed 140.41, or 1.8 percent, to close at 8,004.10 in Tokyo.

Australian S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 5.60 points, or 0.2 percent, to 3,533.80 at the close in Sydney, the most since Nov. 28.,
12/3/2008 5:31:48 AM