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U.S. futures higher as data in focus; Dow Jones up 0.16%

Posted
7/15/2013 7:27:00 AM
By: Investing.com
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Investing.com - U.S. stock futures pointed to a higher open on Monday, as investors eyed the release of U.S. data later in the day, amid ongoing uncertainty over the future of the Federal Reserve's stimulus plan.

Ahead of the open, the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.16% gain, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.16% rise, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.22% increase.

Markets were jittery amid expectations that the Fed will start to unwind its USD85 billion-a-month bond buying program later this year, while other world central banks will continue to maintain loose monetary policy for the foreseeable future.

U.S. stocks rallied last week after Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said the U.S. economy still needed monetary stimulus.

Tech stocks were expected to be active, after Microsoft said it is cutting the price of its Surface RT tablet by as much as 30% as the device struggles to lure customers amid competition from machines such as Apple's iPad.

Separately, Apple shares edged up 0.17% in pre-market trade after the tech giant said it was preparing to "fully investigate and cooperate with authorities" following reports a woman in China died after using an iPhone that was being recharged.

Aircraft manufacturer Boeing was also likely to be in focus, amid reports U.K. regulators were still investigating the cause of last week's fire on a Boeing 787 parked at London's Heathrow airport. Boeing shares were up 1.11% in early trading.

Another Boeing 787 Dreamliner operated by Britain's Thomson Airways flying to the U.S. from England had also been forced to return to the U.K. due to technical issues.

Elsewhere, AT&T, the second-largest U.S. wireless carrier, agreed to buy Leap Wireless International for USD1.2 billion, giving the company 5 million customers, more airwaves and a larger piece of the pay-as-you-go market.

WebMD was also slated to remain in the spotlight after soaring over 25% on Friday, as the health information provider said it expects to post its first profit in six quarters, thanks to increased revenue from its public portals in the second quarter.

Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were higher. The EURO STOXX 50 rose 0.25%, France's CAC 40 climbed 0.47%, Germany's DAX added 0.23%, while Britain's FTSE 100 gained 0.37%.

During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index added 0.12%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 Index rose 0.23%.

Also Monday, official data showed that Chinese gross domestic product expanded 7.5% in the second quarter from a year earlier, following growth of 7.7% in the three months to March and in line with expectations.

Later in the day, the U.S. was to release data on the Empire State manufacturing index as well as the government report on retail sales.


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