Nasdaq, Russell lead stocks higher

Stocks are climbing today as the beaten-down Nasdaq 100 and Russell 2000 rebound following a key turn on Friday.

S&P 500 futures are up less than 0.4 percent, but the NDX and RUT are rising about 0.5 percent. The turn, suggested in a post halfway through Friday's session on our flagship InsideOptions service, came with both indexes negative on a year-to-date basis.

Most European markets are higher as well, led by gains of 0.9 percent in Frankfurt and Milan. India surged 2.4 percent as exit polls showed the pro-business Bharatiya Janata Party poised to take control of the government. China advanced about 2 percent, bouncing from recent lows.

Equities have been consolidating for months following a massive run in 2013. While the S&P 500 is little-changed for the year, former leaders among small caps and e-commerce have struggled while former laggards in the energy and international sectors have begun to rally. (See our researchLAB market scanner.)

While the pace of economic news has been slowing, this week's calendar brings several noteworthy events: Retail sales for the United States and China both come out tomorrow morning. Wednesday afternoon brings earnings from technology giant Cisco Systems. Investors will also keep an eye on Ukraine, where eastern provinces are seeking independence from Kiev. While tense, the situation has failed to escalate into a bigger conflict.

Thursday brings consumer prices, initial jobless claims, regional surveys by the New York and Philadelphia Federal Reserve banks, plus housing-market data. Applied Materials, another tech heavyweight, also announces results after the closing bell. Housing starts, building permits, and consumer sentiment wrap up the week Friday morning.

Takeover activity is back in the news today after Hillshire Brands agreed to purchase Pinnacle Foods for $6.6 billion in stock and cash. Allergan also rejected last month's $47 billion takeover offer by Valeant Pharmaceuticals. In other company-specific news, in-flight WiFi provider Gogo is up almost 6 percent after earnings and revenue beat expectations.

Copper is the big mover in commodity markets, gaining almost 2 percent. Silver is up 1.7 percent, while gold and oil are gaining about 0.6 percent. Currencies are little-changed.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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