Stock Futures Climb After Choppy Week


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U.S. stock-index futures climbed Monday after a tough week for Wall Street as traders reacted to overseas developments, Citigroup earnings and better-than-expected retail sales data.

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Today's Markets

As of 8:36 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures climbed 49 points to 13294, S&P 500 futures gained 6.8 points to 1429 and the Nasdaq 100 jumped 18 points to 2728.

The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all slumped more than 2% last week in the worst slide since June amid continuing concerns about global growth and corporate profit prospects.

The mood on the day was defined as "guarded optimism" by Chris Beauchamp a market analyst at IG in London. Indeed, markets in Europe and Asia were broadly to the upside.

Analysts pointed to two key developments as helping to lighten sentiment after last week's fall. Inflation in China cooled off slightly to 1.9% on a year-to-year basis in September from 2% in August, boosting hopes that policymakers may have more wiggle room to provide further stimulus for the world's second-biggest economy.

Then there was a report from Reuters over the weekend citing unnamed sources that said Spain may request a rescue in November. The eurozone's fourth-biggest economy is struggling with high borrowing costs, a stodgy economy and disagreements between its various regions.

Traders were also set to get a slew of reports on U.S. companies as earnings season kicks into full gear.

Citigroup (NYSE:C) posted adjusted third-quarter earnings of $1.06 a share on $19.4 billion in revenues, topping Wall Street’s forecast of 96 cents on $18.72 billion. Other corporate giant including Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), General Electric (NYSE:GE) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) are on deck for later in the week.

Also on the corporate front, Japan's Softbank unveiled plans to buy a 70% stake in Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) for $20.1 billion. The tie-up had been foreshadowed in several published reports last week.

The economic calendar is also quite full this week, with reports ranging the spectrum from manufacturing, to the retail and housing sectors and inflation.

The Commerce Department said U.S. retail sales rose 1.1% in September from August, more than the 0.8% expected. Excluding the auto component, sales were up 1.1%, the biggest rise since January and topping estimates of 0.6%.

Meanwhile, the New York Federal Reserve's regional manufacturing gauge rose to -6.16 in October, up from -10.41 in September. A reading of -4.55 was expected. Readings above zero point to expansion while those below indicate contraction.

Commodities kicked off the week lightly changed. The benchmark crude oil contract traded in New York rose 19 cents, or 0.21%, to $92.05 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline slipped 0.58% to $2.876 a gallon.

In metals, gold dipped $11, or 0.63%, to $1,749 a troy ounce.

Foreign Markets

The Euro Stoxx 50 rallied 1.1% to 2497, the English FTSE 100 rose 0.53% to 5824 and the German DAX gained 0.77% to 7288.

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 climbed 0.51% to 8778 and the Chinese Hang Seng edged up by 0.06% to 21148.