Stocks set for higher open

sp500futures.850am.top.pngClick chart for more pre-market action. By CNNMoney staff


NEW YORK(CNNMoney) -- U.S. stocks were headed for a higher open Monday, with strong earnings from Exxon Mobil outweighing investor worries about growing political unrest in Egypt.

Dow Jones industrial average (INDU), S&P 500 (SPX) and Nasdaq (COMP) futures were higher ahead of the opening bell. Futures measure current index values against perceived future performance.

On Friday, stocks logged their biggest drop in months, as mounting political protests and tensions across Egypt sparked caution among investors -- sending the CBOE volatility index (VIX), known as the VIX and used to gauge fear in the market, more than 24% higher.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 166 points, marking a sharp retreat for the index after it flirted with the 12,000 barrier earlier in the week.

Protests in Egypt continued over the weekend, leading Moody's Investors Service to downgrade its rating on the nation's debt to "negative" from "stable".

But Tom Winmill, portfolio manager at Midas Funds, said the worst may be over when it comes to the impact of Egypt's unrest on U.S. markets.

"While there's still a lot of uncertainty regarding the outcome of the Egypt political crisis, this might be the end of the scare," he said. "It looks like a very good buying opportunity, because once the situation is resolved I think markets will resume their upward trend."

But Egypt won't be the last country to fuel worries about political and economic situations abroad, said Winmill.

"I think we'll see a lot more civil unrest as economic situations become intolerable to the general populations," he said. "By the end of the week, I think there will be a resolution and happiness will reign supreme in the markets. But let's be prepared for the next one, because there will certainly be another crisis in another developing country."

World markets: Ongoing tensions, along with Moody's downgrade, hit world markets early Monday.

European stocks hovered around breakeven during mid-morning trade. Britain's FTSE 100 and the DAX in Germany were flat, and France's CAC 40 rose 0.3%.

Asian markets ended mixed. The Shanghai Composite gained 1.38%, but the Hang Seng in Hong Kong dropped 0.7% and Japan's Nikkei tumbled 1.2%.

Companies: Exxon Mobil (XOM, Fortune 500) beat expectations from analysts in a fourth-quarter report issued before the open.

The world's largest publicly traded oil company logged earnings of $9.25 billion, or $1.85 a share, up 46% from $6.05 billion, or $1.27, a year earlier.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected earnings per share of $1.63. Revenue climbed 17% to $105.2 billion, beating forecasts for sales of $99.1 billion.

Exxon's stock rose 1% in premarket trading.

Over the weekend, Massey Energy (MEE) was acquired by rival Alpha Natural Resources in a $7.1 billion deal. Shares of Massey jumped 13% in pre-market trading Monday.

Economy: The Commerce Department reported personal spending slightly outpaced expectations last month, but personal income fell short of the forecast.

Personal income rose 0.4% in December, following a gain of 0.4% in November. Personal spending rose 0.7% in December, following a gain of 0.3% in November.

Economists expected personal income to rise 0.5% in December, according to a consensus survey from Briefing.com. Personal spending was forecast to rise 0.6%.

After the opening bell, a closely watched report on manufacturing activity in the Chicago area will be released. Analysts expect growth to slow slightly. The index is forecast to slip to a reading of 65, from 66.8 in the previous month.

The most closely watched report of the week comes Friday, when the government releases its January jobs data.

"If we get positive news there, the market could react strongly if it shows that the stimulus is working and there has been a further recovery in the U.S. economy," Winmill said.

Currencies and commodities: The dollar fell against the euro, the British pound and the Japanese yen.

Oil for March delivery rose 18 cents to $89.52 a barrel.

Gold futures for February delivery fell $13.20 to $1,338.80 an ounce.

Bonds: The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury fell, pushing the yield up to 3.35% from 3.33% late Friday.  To top of page

Just the hot list include
Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.80%3.88%
15 yr fixed3.20%3.23%
5/1 ARM3.84%3.88%
30 yr refi3.82%3.93%
15 yr refi3.20%3.23%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 27,783.59 92.10 0.33%
Nasdaq 8,482.10 -3.99 -0.05%
S&P 500 3,094.04 2.20 0.07%
Treasuries 1.87 -0.04 -2.04%
Data as of 9:07pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Advanced Micro Devic... 37.52 0.81 2.21%
General Electric Co 11.29 -0.13 -1.14%
Bank of America Corp... 32.79 -0.30 -0.91%
Walt Disney Co 148.72 10.14 7.32%
Ford Motor Co 8.81 -0.23 -2.54%
Data as of 6:30pm ET

Sections

Bankrupt toy retailer tells bankruptcy court it is looking at possibly reviving the Toys 'R' Us and Babies 'R' Us brands. More

Land O'Lakes CEO Beth Ford charts her career path, from her first job to becoming the first openly gay CEO at a Fortune 500 company in an interview with CNN's Boss Files. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.