Stocks set for grouchy start

Markets seen pulling back at Monday's open as Wall Street awaits Obama speech and eyes China trade dispute.

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301 Moved Permanently

301 Moved Permanently

How has Wall Street responded to last year's collapse of Lehman Brothers?
  • Made significant changes
  • Some reform, but more needed
  • Business as usual
  • It's gotten worse

NEW YORK ( -- Stocks were set to open lower Monday as investors await a speech by President Obama about financial services reform and keep an eye on a China-U.S. trade spat.

At 6:57 a.m. ET, Standard & Poor's 500, Nasdaq 100 and Dow Jones industrial average futures were lower.

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

President Obama comes to Wall Street to talk about financial services reform as the first anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers approaches. In his address, Obama will urge the financial services industry to support his reform efforts and call for quick action, an administration official told CNN.

The anniversary of the Lehman Brothers collapse and other "horror stories of the past" are likely to weigh on Wall Street Monday, said Peter Cardillo, chief market strategist for Avalon Partners.

"All of these things are giving investors an excuse to take some money off the table," he said.

The president's decision last week to impose a tariff on Chinese-made tires may also resonate with investors. China's commerce industry responded Sunday by saying it will investigate the dumping of U.S. chicken and autos into its markets.

Stocks snapped a 5-day advance Friday as falling oil prices gave investors reason to pull back after pushing the major gauges to 11-month highs in the previous session. Despite Friday's retreat, all three indexes posted gains for the week.

The market has been supported recently by a weak dollar, higher commodity prices and investor fears of missing out on a rally that has been going strong since March. But trading volume thinned out near the end of last week, suggesting investors were becoming reluctant to commit.

Readings on retail sales, consumer prices and new home construction are on tap for later in the week.

Major corporations reporting quarterly financial results this week include BestBuy (BBY, Fortune 500), Oracle (ORCL, Fortune 500), FedEx (FDX, Fortune 500) and Palm (PALM).

Trading is expected to be volatile this week as investors adjust portfolios ahead of a slew of options expirations on Friday. The quarterly event, known as "quadruple witching," is when stock index futures and options and individual stock futures and options all expire at the same time.

World markets: Asian markets closed lower, with Tokyo's Nikkei index down 2.3%. Major indexes in Europe retreated in midday trading.

Currency: The dollar gained against the euro, the yen and the pound. The dollar index (DXY), which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, fell to a one-year low last week.

Oil and gold: The price of oil retreated 75 cents to $68.54 a barrel after falling nearly 4% on Friday.

Gold prices eased, but remained above $1,000 an ounce. To top of page

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