Stocks: Positive tone to start the week

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It looks like stock markets will kick off the week with a modest move higher as investors maintain their relatively upbeat outlook and quarterly earnings continue to roll in.

U.S. stock futures were modestly higher Monday morning, signaling optimism for this year's record-setting rally to continue.

The gains have largely been fueled by the Federal Reserve's stimulus program, which will likely continue into the early part of 2014.

At the same time, investors will a;sop continue to keep a pulse on corporate growth as the latest companies report their results.

Kellogg (K)and Sysco (SYY) will report quarterly results before the bell Monday, while Con Edison (ED) and Hertz (HTZ) are among the dozens of firms reporting after the market close.

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In economic news, the U.S. government will release its reports on factory orders for both August and September at 10 a.m. ET.

Investors may be hitting pause ahead of this week's first look at U.S. gross domestic product for the third quarter. The GDP report, due out Thursday, will give the first glimpse into the impact the government shutdown had on the economy.

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European markets were rising in morning trading. London's FTSE 100 index was up by 0.5%, led by HSBC (HBC) after the global bank issued a snapshot of its latest quarterly performance.

Asian markets ended lower. The Tokyo Stock Exchange was closed for a holiday.

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