Stocks to start the week little changed

October 24, 2011: 8:50 AM ET
premarkets

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- U.S. stocks are poised to start the week little changed, after a key summit on Europe's debt crisis gave investors few solid solutions.

Europe's top leaders said Sunday that they were getting closer to finalizing a plan to solve the continent's debt crisis. But with a final agreement not expected before Wednesday, the actual details remained under wraps.

Dow Jones industrial average (INDU), S&P 500 (SPX) and Nasdaq (COMP) futures hovered around breakeven. Stock futures indicate the possible direction of the markets when they open at 9:30 a.m. ET.

On Friday, U.S. stocks had rallied to the highest levels since early August, as investors grew increasingly hopeful that a resolution to Europe's debt crisis is around the corner.

Friday's gains pushed the Dow back into positive territory for 2011, with all three indexes on track for their best monthly performance in more than a year.

Europe's leaders nearing debt solution

"If we continue to see incremental progress out of Europe, I think you'll see less choppiness, and you could see continued gains in the U.S. equities side," said Tim Speiss, chairman of Personal Wealth Advisors at EisnerAmper.

Companies: Health insurer Cigna (CI, Fortune 500) agreed to acquire HealthSpring (HS) for $3.8 billion, sending shares of the health care medical plan provider up 33% in premarket trading.

Oracle (ORCL, Fortune 500) also said it will buy RightNow Technologies (RNOW) for $1.5 billion, or $43 a share.

Construction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar (CAT, Fortune 500) beat analyst expectations with third-quarter revenue of $668 million. Shares rose 4% in premarket trading.

Netflix (NFLX) will announce results after the markets close, and is expected to report earnings per share of 94 cents -- up from 70 cents a year earlier.

Economy: Investors will be tuning into speeches from two regional Federal Reserve presidents on Monday.

New York Fed President William Dudley is scheduled to give a speech on the regional and national economy at Fordham University in New York, and Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher will discuss challenges to economic growth at a conference in Toronto.

World markets: European stocks were mixed in midday trading. Britain's FTSE 100 (UKX) ticked up 0.2%, the DAX (DAX) in Germany lost 0.1% and France's CAC 40 (CAC40) was near breakeven.

Asian markets ended sharply higher, after an HSBC reading on Chinese manufacturing showed activity in the sector rose to a five-month high in October. The report lessens fears that China's economy is slowing too quickly.

The Shanghai Composite (SHCOMP) climbed 2.3%, the Hang Seng (HSI) in Hong Kong surged 4.1% and Japan's Nikkei (N225) rose 1.9%.

Currencies and commodities: The dollar rose against the euro and British pound, but lost strength against the Japanese yen.

Oil for December delivery gained 51 cents to $87.91 a barrel.

Gold futures for December delivery rose $21.10 to $1,657.20 an ounce.

Bonds: The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury rose slightly, pushing the yield down to 2.20%. To top of page

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 30,932.37 -469.64 -1.50%
Nasdaq 13,192.34 72.96 0.56%
S&P 500 3,811.15 -18.19 -0.48%
Treasuries 1.46 -0.06 -3.82%
Data as of 9:09pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Ford Motor Co 8.29 0.05 0.61%
Advanced Micro Devic... 54.59 0.70 1.30%
Cisco Systems Inc 47.49 -2.44 -4.89%
General Electric Co 13.00 -0.16 -1.22%
Kraft Heinz Co 27.84 -2.20 -7.32%
Data as of 2:44pm ET
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
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