четверг, 23 февраля 2012 г.

Stocks head for largely flat open as investors weigh whether Wall Street's run will continue

U.S. stocks headed for a largely flat open Monday after stocks posted their best week in four years and as investors try to determine whether Wall Street will continue to show signs of recovery.

The flow of economic data is expected to be less in the coming week than last, but investors will still be eager for any fresh signs about the health of economy. On Monday, investors expect the Commerce Department's December factory orders index will show an increase.

In addition, Wall Street is expecting quarterly results on Monday from media company News Corp., agricultural producer Archer Daniels Midland Co. and fast-food chain operator Yum Brands Inc.

The readings could help indicate whether Wall Street last week carved the beginnings of a sustainable recovery or whether investors' enthusiasm was misplaced. For the week, the Dow Jones industrial average jumped 4.39 percent, the Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 3.75 percent, and the Nasdaq composite index advanced 4.87 percent. The Dow and the S&P 500 each showed their steepest gains since March 2003.

The Dow stands 10 percent below its record close of 14,164.53 from Oct. 9, but has regained almost 10 percent from the 15-month lows it hit in January. The Federal Reserve's second interest-rate cut in about a week helped boost stocks last week.

On Monday, Dow futures rose 5, or 0.04 percent, to 12,761.00. Standard & Poor's 500 index futures slipped 1.10, or 0.08 percent, to 1,396.00. Nasdaq 100 index futures rose 3.50, or 0.19 percent, to 1,867.00.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves opposite its price, rose to 3.62 percent from 3.60 percent late Friday.

The dollar was mixed against other major currencies, while gold prices fell.

In corporate news, Google Inc. said Sunday that Microsoft Corp.'s $42 billion bid for Yahoo Inc. amounts to an attempt to gain illegal control over the Internet.

Overseas, Japan's Nikkei stock average closed rose 2.69 percent. In morning trading, Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.21 percent, Germany's DAX index rose 1.00 percent, and France's CAC-40 rose 0.70 percent.


On the Net:

New York Stock Exchange: http://www.nyse.com

Nasdaq Stock Market: http://www.nasdaq.com

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