US STOCKS-Wall St set to drop at open as selling pressure mounts
* Shire shares tumble as AbbVie reconsiders bid
* Retail sales drop more than expected in September
* Producer prices fall for first time in over a year
* Futures off: Dow 153 pts, S&P 22.75 pts, Nasdaq 48.25 pts (Updates prices, adds premarket movers)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Oct 15 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were set for a sharply lower open on Wednesday as economic data did little to stem worries over the health of the world economy or that corporate merger activity may be slowing.
The benchmark S&P 500 had eked a tiny gain at the close a day earlier following three sessions of declines spurred by concern over plunging oil prices, the potential impact of global economic weakness on U.S. earnings and the spread of Ebola.
The S&P has lost 6.6 percent since its Sept. 18 record closing high and is now up just 1.6 percent for the year, while the Dow is down 1.6 percent since Dec. 31.
Futures were little changed earlier Wednesday before dropping steeply in heavy trading, reflecting a recent jump in volatility in the equity markets. Continuación...