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U.S. futures mixed ahead of Bernanke comments; Dow Jones up 0.03%

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Shutterstock photo - U.S. stock futures pointed to mixed open on Monday, as markets were jittery ahead of a speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke later in the day.

Ahead of the open, the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.03% gain, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.04% rise, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.40% drop.

Market participants were awaiting Bernanke's speech on monetary policy and the recovery from the global financial crisis later Monday, amid speculation that the Fed chairman would quash speculation over an earlier-than-expected end to the central bank's quantitative easing program.

Meanwhile, sentiment remained supported by hopes that the situation in the euro zone is stabilizing. Earlier Monday, International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde said the region's economy will begin to recover this year, reiterating remarks by the president of the European Central Bank last week.

Oil companies were likely to be in focus, after Bloomberg reported that ExxonMobil and Citgo Petroleum are the last holdouts in an USD800 million lawsuit by New Hampshire alleging that oil companies knew a chemical added to gasoline would contaminate residents' groundwater.

Opening statements were set to begin later Monday in Concord in a trial opposing the state's environmental claims against the companies' efforts to comply with federal pollution standards.

UPS was also expected to be active, as the package-delivery company said that it halted a USD6.9 billion bid for TNT Express after European regulators moved to block the deal.

The Atlanta-based company will reportedly pay the Dutch operator a EUR200 million termination fee once the European Commission issues a formal decision to reject the proposed combination.

Elsewhere, Lockheed Martin was slated to move following reports the company's F-35 fell short of meeting testing goals last year even as the fighter jet made 18% more flights than planned.

In the financial sector, JPMorgan Chase's board was set to consider releasing an internal report this week that faults CEO Jamie Dimon's oversight of a division that lost more than USD6.2 billion on botched trades.

Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were higher. The EURO STOXX 50 added 0.17%, France's CAC 40 rose 0.33%, Germany's DAX climbed 0.48%, while Britain's FTSE 100 inched up 0.04%.

During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index advanced 0.64%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 Index remained closed for a national holiday. - offers an extensive set of professional tools for the Forex, Commodities, Futures and the Stock Market including real-time data streaming, a comprehensive economic calendar, as well as financial news and technical & fundamental analysis by in-house experts.

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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.

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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