Stocks set to start mixed

Readings on pending home sales, auto sales on tap. GM sells Hummer.

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By staff

301 Moved Permanently

301 Moved Permanently


NEW YORK( -- U.S. stocks were set to open mixed Tuesday as investors displayed caution ahead of the some new economic reports.

At 7:27 a.m. ET, Dow Jones industrial average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures were narrowly mixed.

Futures measure current index values against perceived future performance and offer an indication of how markets may open when trading begins in New York.

U.S. stocks roared Monday on upbeat economic news. The Nasdaq climbed 3%, while the Dow and S&P both surged about 2.6%.

Manus Cranny, market analyst at MF Global in London, said the markets might have overextended themselves with Monday's rally.

"The fundamentals haven't quite caught up with the sentiment and the momentum in the market itself," said Cranny.

GM: General Motors announced the sale of its Hummer truck brand, though it wouldn't name names or price. GM said the deal would close by the end of the third quarter.

The move comes after GM (GM, Fortune 500) filed for bankruptcy protection Monday, bringing an end to an era for the iconic automaker. The bankruptcy was hailed by President Obama, who wants a complete overhaul of the U.S. auto industry, even though GM's Chapter 11 will result in 20,000 job losses and the closure of 12 plants.

Economy: A report on pending home sales in April is on tap at 10 a.m. ET. Auto and truck sales for May also are slated for release.

Companies: JPMorgan Chase (JPM, Fortune 500) and American Express (AXP, Fortune 500) both announced plans late Monday to sell stock. They are the two latest banks looking to raise money to repay government bailout funds.

The Federal Reserve is expected to announce next week which of the 19 banks that it ran so-called stress tests on will be allowed to pay back bailout funds.

Citigroup (C, Fortune 500) has decided to withhold severance payments worth tens of millions of dollars to five former executives, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

World markets: Asian stocks ended mixed, with Japan's Nikkei posting mild gains and Hong Kong's Hang Seng falling 2.6%. Major European markets were mixed in midday trading.

Money and oil: The dollar slipped versus the major international currencies, including the euro, the yen and the British pound. In a departure from its recent rallies, the price of oil fell 38 cents a barrel to $68.20. To top of page

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