Stocks: Choppy trading ahead

@CNNMoneyInvest March 20, 2012: 9:35 AM ET

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- After strong gains last week, trading could be choppy Monday, with little major economic or corporate news expected.

The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU), S&P 500 (SPX) and Nasdaq (COMP) futures were mixed ahead of the opening bell. Stock futures indicate the possible direction of the markets when they open at 9:30 a.m. ET.

In a highly anticipated announcement, Apple said Monday that it would pay a $2.65 a share quarterly dividend and repurchase $10 billion in shares over the next three years.

The company will hold a conference call ahead of the opening bell to elaborate on its decision-making process. Apple has nearly $100 billion in cash and marketable securities on its books. (see correction below)

Just last week, Apple's stock topped $600 for the first time ever, fueled by record iPhone and iPad sales growth.

Bank stocks may also be in focus, following reports that the Federal Reserve made some minor corrections to its stress test results. Shares of Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500) and Citigroup (C, Fortune 500) were up slightly in premarket trading.

Retail investors shun the rally

Stocks ended mixed Friday, though the major indexes all posted gains of more than 2% for the week on rising hopes for the U.S. economy.

World markets: European stocks lost ground in midday trading. Britain's FTSE 100 (UKX) shed 0.3%, the DAX (DAX) in Germany was off 0.7% and France's CAC 40 (CAC40) fell 0.7%.

Asian markets ended mixed. The Shanghai Composite (SHCOMP) rose 0.2% and Japan's Nikkei (N225) edged higher 0.1%, while the Hang Seng (HSI) in Hong Kong lost 1.0%.

Companies: Starbucks (SBUX, Fortune 500) will open its first Evolution Fresh juice bar on Monday in Bellevue, Wash., four months after the coffee giant acquired the juice business. Starbucks will also start distribution of the brand Monday to grocery stores.

Pick March Stock Mania champ

The advisory board of European shipper TNT Express said they are recommending that shareholders accept the terms of an $6.8 billion all-cash offer from UPS (UPS, Fortune 500).

Shares of Domino's Pizza (DPZ) were up more than 5% in premarket trading Monday, after the company announced a one-time dividend of $3 per share to be paid on April 2.

Economy: Housing will be in focus this week, with reports due on new home sales, housing starts and existing home sales.

Monday, the National Association of Home Builders will release the March installment of its Housing Market Index. The index is expected to stand at 31
for March, according to a survey of analysts by, up from 29 last month.

While recent reports on the job market and the banking sector have given credence to beliefs that the economy is on the mend, the housing market is still struggling.

In January, home prices fell to their lowest point in more than a decade, the National Association of Realtors said last month.

Currencies and commodities: The dollar strengthened against the euro, but dropped against the British pound and Japanese yen.

Oil for April delivery gained 39 cents to $107.45 a barrel.

Gold futures for April dropped $2.40 to $1,653.40 an ounce.

Bonds: The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury rose, pushing the yield down to 2.28% from 2.30% late Friday.

Correction: An earlier version incorrectly stated Apple's cash stash in millions. To top of page

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 24,987.47 -103.01 -0.41%
Nasdaq 7,747.02 0.65 0.01%
S&P 500 2,773.87 -5.79 -0.21%
Treasuries 2.93 0.00 0.07%
Data as of 4:16pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Advanced Micro Devic... 17.11 0.77 4.71%
AT&T Inc 32.19 -0.96 -2.90%
General Electric Co 13.20 -0.10 -0.75%
Bank of America Corp... 29.40 0.12 0.41%
Intel Corp 53.22 -1.89 -3.43%
Data as of 3:59pm ET
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