1:30pm (EST)

Futures were weak Sunday night and got progressively worse as we headed into this morning’s opening bell so we were prepared for a lower open.  There are a few headwinds in play for the bulls this morning, mainly, the MF Global (MF, $1.20) debacle which is the latest firm to go belly-up.

The brokerage firm filed for bankruptcy protection after getting a letter that it had been suspended from conducting new business with the New York Federal Reserve.  MF Global had a “meeting of the minds” over the weekend to see if its top brass could save the company but they decided against selling the company or they were asking too much for a company that made a big bet on European sovereign debt. 

MF listed debt at $40 billion versus assets of $41 billion in its Chapter 11 papers this morning.

As far as economic news, the Chicago PMI for October was a disappointment and has added a little pressure to the downside.  The index came in at 58.4, down from 60.4 in September, and missed expectations for a print of 58.9.  We said in our Weekly Wrap a number north of 60 might provide some juice for the bulls but the miss wasn’t all that bad.

Despite today’s pullback, the market is on pace to finish October with historic gains.

The Dow is down 168 points to 12,062 but has held the 12,000 level while the S&P is off 19 points to 1,266.  The Nasdaq is lower by 32 points to 2,705.

Third-quarter earnings are still in the mix and tomorrow’s big names include:  American Capital (ACAS, $7.97, down $0.06), Baker Hughes (BHI, $57.83, down $3.06),   CF Industries (CF, $165.10, down $5.04), Dunkin Brands Group (DNKN, $28.92, up $1.03), Peets Coffee & Tea (PEET, $63.76, up $0.30) and Pfizer (PFE, $19.55, down $0.27).

We have a lot to cover in our Members Area, including an update for our latest recommendation so we have to cut it a little short today.  Subscribers, check the Members Area for the updates.