Futures Flat as Focus Sticks to Bond Yields


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U.S. stock-index futures hovered in a tight range on Monday as traders kept a close eye on benchmark bond yields.

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Today's Markets

As of 8:18 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 10 points to 15028, S&P 500 futures dropped 2 points to 1649 and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 0.75 point to 3071.

For Wall Street recently, it's been all about Treasury yields. As the Federal Reserve hones its plans to begin slowing down its bond purchases, traders have moved proactively moved away from the U.S. sovereign debt, putting upward pressure on yields.

The yield on the benchmark U.S. 10-year rose 0.034-percentage point to 2.854%. For the year, the rate is up 1.068 percentage point.

"While each country has their own issues, rising global interest rates triggered by a soon to be likely Fed taper obviously crimps investor risk appetite, especially foreign capital in emerging markets," Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at The Lindsey Group, wrote in an e-mail.

The worry is that as yields rise, it becomes more expensive to borrow money to do things like invest in businesses and buy homes. While they're floating about historic lows, there are worries an excessively rapid rise could slow the already stodgy rate of recovery.

The economic calendar is quite light on the day on the heels of a hectic week from a data standpoint.

On the corporate front, J.P. Morgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) was facing a federal bribery probe over allegedly hiring the children of Chinese officials, the New York Times reported.

In commodities, U.S. oil prices fell 37 cents, or 0.34%, to $107.09 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline rose 0.44% to $2.98 a gallon. Gold gained $3.70, or 0.27%, to $1,375 a troy ounce.

Foreign Markets

The Euro Stoxx 50 slid 0.71% to 2834, the English FTSE 100 dipped 0.38% to 6475 and the German DAX dipped 0.23% to 8373.

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 jumped 0.79% to 13758 and the Chinese Hang Seng declined 0.24% to  22464.

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