RTTNews - Stocks are poised to open moderately higher on Monday following rhetoric from a number of central bankers over the weekend at Jackson Hole, Wyoming indicating that interest rates are likely to remain fixed for some time despite some signs of economic stabilization.
The major index futures are currently all in positive territory, with the Dow futures up by 26 points.
Traders may also be drawing optimism from Friday's statements by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke at the same conference, where he said, Economic activity appears to be leveling out, both in the United States and abroad.
Bernanke also noted that the prospects for a return to growth in the near term appear good.
Automakers might be in focus following the announcement by the U.S Administration that the popular cash for clunkers program will be drawn to a close today.
In an opinion piece in the Financial Times, economist Nouriel Roubini, who predicted the magnitude of the recent financial troubles, said that he sees a big risk of a double recession.
Roubini stated that the global economy might bottom out in the second half of the year and that the economies in the U.S and other European countries might witness anemic or below trend growth for at least a couple of years.
In corporate news, drug maker Warner Chilcott (WCRX) announced that it has agreed to acquire the prescription drug business of Procter & Gamble (PG) for an up-front cash payment of $3.1 billion. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the 2009 calendar year.
Stocks saw a notably strong outing on Friday, with early buying interested spearheaded by better than expected existing home sales data and the relatively optimistic economic commentary from Bernanke. The Dow closed up by 156 points at 9,506, the Nasdaq climbed by 32 points to 2,021 and the S&P 500 rose by 19 points to 1,026.
With the four-day winning streak, the major averages all closed notably higher for the week, ending the session at multi-month closing highs. The Dow advanced by 2 percent, the Nasdaq moved up by 1.8 percent and the S&P 500 posted a gain of 2.2 percent.
Crude oil futures have drifted higher in early commodities trading, climbing by $0.14 to $74.03 a barrel after moving lower in the previous session. The price of gold is also gaining, advancing by $3.30 to $956.70 an ounce.
On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is nearly unchanged versus the major European currencies, trading at $1.4331 versus the euro and valued at $1.6508 versus the pound. Meanwhile, the dollar has advanced against the yen, rising to 94.73 yen.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region closed notably higher on Monday. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 Index surged up by 3.4 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose by 1.7 percent.
The major European markets are also moving higher, with the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index rising by 0.6 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.5 percent.
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