Stock Futures Edge Up Ahead of Busy Week


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U.S. stock-index futures ticked higher on Monday as traders braced for a week full of economic data, corporate earnings and a Federal Reserve meeting.

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Today's Markets

As of 8:05 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures climbed 10 points to 15504, S&P 500 futures gained 0.5 point to 1755 and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 5.5 points to 3379.

Wall Street will have its plate full this week.

Many big-name companies have reported earnings over the last couple weeks. However, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), the world's biggest technology company has yet to weigh in. Analysts are expected to scrutinize the Cupertino-Calif.-based company's results when it posts them after the closing bell. Of particular interest will be how many iPhones it sold, and whether its low cost model snagged the interest of buyers looking for cheaper equipment.

Merck (NYSE:MRK) posted better-than-expected third-quarterly profits ahead of the open, but sales came in short of estimates.

Also on Monday's docket is a report on pending home sales from the National Association of Realtors. Economists expect signed contracts to buy previously-owned homes to have climbed by 0.1% in September from the month prior. The housing rebound has been a cornerstone of the broader economic recovery. However, the the real estate market has shown signs of weakening in recent months.

The data come ahead of the Federal Reserve's policy-setting meeting later this week. The central bank is expected to keep its foot squarely on the economic accelerator, not slowing down the pace of asset purchases until December at the earliest.

Elsewhere, U.S. crude oil futures fell 7 cents, or 0.07%, to $97.78 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline rose 0.22% to $2.593 a gallon. Gold slipped $1.50, or 0.11%, to $1,351 a troy ounce.

Foreign Markets

The Euro Stoxx 50 fell 0.43% to 3022, the English FTSE 100 dipped 0.08% to 6716 and the German DAX slipped 0.03% to 8983.

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 rallied 2.2% to 14396 and the Chinese Hang Seng rose 0.48% to 22807.

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