US stocks were poised to kick off the week on a sour note Monday morning in New York as Wall Street geared up for a deluge of corporate earnings news.
As of 6:15 am ET, the Dow Futures were down 89 points, the S&P Futures were down 22 points, and the NASDAQ Futures were down 12 points.
Stocks managed to eke out a sixth consecutive week of gains despite Friday's lackluster performance.
The Dow closed up 5.90 points or 0.1 percent at 8,131.33, the Nasdaq closed up 2.63 points or 0.2 percent at 1,673.07 and the S&P 500 closed up 4.30 points or 0.5 percent at 869.60.
Earnings season swings into high gear this week with results from IBM, Coca-Cola, Yahoo, Apple, and Microsoft.
Bank of America, Boston Scientific Corp., Eli Lilly & Co, Texas Instruments Inc., Halliburton Co and Weatherford International Limited are among the other big ones scheduled to announce their quarterly results on Monday.
Monday, food and beverage giant Pepsico, Inc. (PEP: News ) said it offered to buy the remaining shares in its bottlers, The Pepsi Bottling Group (PBG: News ) and PepsiAmericas (PAS: News ) for about $6 billion, in transactions estimated to create annual pre-tax synergies of over $200 million. In a separate release, the company reported slightly lower earnings for the first quarter. Additionally, the company reaffirmed its outlook for 2009.
Swiss financial giant UBS AG (UBS: News ), Monday, said it has agreed to sell its Brazilian financial services business, UBS Pactual, to BTG Investments LP, an investment company led by Andre Esteves, for about US$2.5 billion, or CHF 2.8 billion. The company said the sale is to reduce risk profile, strengthen balance sheet and sharpen business focus.
According to the Wall Street Journal, British pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK: News ,GSK.L: News ) is close to acquiring privately-held Stiefel Laboratories, Inc. for about $3 billion. The companies are in late stage talks, with an announcement on the deal expected on Monday, although there is a chance that the deal could fall apart. There has been no official confirmation from both the companies on the deal.
Chicago Federal Reserve President Charles Evans, a FOMC voting member, is scheduled to speak at 9 AM ET on Monday. Atlanta Federal Reserve President Dennis Lockhart, also an FOMC voting member, is due to speak at 12:40 PM ET.
The Conference Board is scheduled to release a report on the U.S. leading index for March at 10 AM ET on Monday. The consensus estimate calls for a 0.2% decline in the leading indicators index for the month.
Monday, the major markets across the Asia-Pacific region closed higher after the Chinese premier gave an upbeat assessment that the economy was doing better-than-expected.
Elsewhere, European stocks were hammered in early dealing.
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