Futures Point To Lower Open

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New York (AP ) Stocks are heading for a sharply lower opening on Wall Street.

Foreign markets are reeling from JPMorgan Chase's buyout of the stumbling Bear Stearns investment bank. Stocks closed lower across Asia, where oil prices set fresh records, and prices have been falling in Europe.

The implosion has investors around the world worried that other banks are at risk in the troubled credit market.

JPMorgan says it will acquire Bear Stearns for 236.2 million dollars in a deal backed by the fed. The price of $2 per share is far below the $30 per share at which bear closed on Friday.

On top of the buyout, the Federal Reserve took the extraordinary step of lowering its discount rate just two days before its scheduled meeting tomorrow.

The Central Bank lowered the discount rate by a quarter point to 3.25 percent.