Stocks poised to begin week higher

By staff

NEW YORK ( -- U.S. stocks were set for a higher start Monday, looking to rebound from the previous week's slump, as investors entered a week full of second-quarter results from corporate America.

Dow Jones industrial average (INDU), S&P 500 (SPX) and Nasdaq (COMP) futures were up ahead of the opening bell.

Futures measure current index values against perceived future performance.

A drop in consumer sentiment, along with weak earnings from financial firms Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500) and Citigroup (C, Fortune 500), pressured stocks at the end of the week and dragged the Dow down by 261 points on Friday.

But investors are awaiting fresh hints about the economy as the quarterly earnings period kicks into full swing, with results from 122 companies on tap this week.

Of the companies that have reported so far, about 75% have beaten earnings expectations and 71% have topped revenue forecasts.

"In general, earnings season has been better than what had been expected, and it seems that this hasn't been priced into the market yet, while the fear of a double-dip recession has been priced in," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Jefferies & Co.

"We're stuck in a tug-of-war between these two forces, but since the economic calendar is pretty light today, it looks like we're going to rebound as investors focus more on earnings," he added.

Companies: Shares of Halliburton (HAL, Fortune 500) rose more than 2% ahead of the opening bell after the company posted an 83% jump in second-quarter profit.

Shares of Boeing (BA, Fortune 500) jumped nearly 2% in pre-market trading after the company received an $9.1 billion order from Dubai-based airline Emirates for 30 of its 777-300ER aircrafts.

American International Group (AIG, Fortune 500) rose less than 1% after the troubled insurance company named Mark Tucker, the former CEO of Prudential, as head of it its Asian life insurance business.

Motorola (MOT, Fortune 500) climbed 5% before the market open after Nokia Siemens Networks said it plans to buy the majority of Motorola's wireless network division for $1.2 billion in cash.

After the market close, IBM (IBM, Fortune 500) is among the many companies due to report results.

World markets: European shares were higher in the early going. The DAX in Germany, France's CAC 40 and Britain's FTSE 100 all added less than 1%.

In Asia, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 0.8%, while the Shanghai Composite added 2%. Japanese markets were closed on Monday.

Dollar and commodities: The dollar was down against the euro, but up versus the British pound and the Japanese yen.

U.S. light crude oil for August delivery rose 19 cents to $76.20 a barrel.

COMEX gold's August contract fell 60 cents to $1,187.60 per ounce.

Bonds: Treasury prices fell, pushing the yield on the 10-year note up to 2.96% from 2.93% late Friday. Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.

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