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Stock Futures Dip Ahead of Central Bank Meetings


NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were trading mixed Monday as traders awaited what's expected this week to be another weak nonfarm payrolls number, while hoping for a fresh round of action from the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank.

Investors also continued to keep their eyes on corporate earnings reports.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were falling 30 points, or 13.66 points below fair value, at 13,003. Futures for the S&P 500 were down 4.2 points, or 2.96 points below fair value, at 1378, while futures for the Nasdaq 100 were up 2.5 points, or 3.57 points above fair value, at 2645.

U.S. stocks on Friday soared after eurozone leaders stepped up their pledges to preserve the single-currency bloc. The Dow Jones Industrial Average settled above 13,000 the first time since May 7.

The FTSE in London was rising 0.56% and the DAX in Germany was gaining 0.94%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index settled up 1.61% and the Nikkei in Japan closed up 0.8%. The global markets climbed Monday as stimulus hopes increased ahead of the Federal Reserve's policy meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday and the European Central Bank's interest rate announcement on Thursday.

"While a majority of economists recently polled by Reuters anticipate QE3 by year-end, few expect the Fed will take a significant measure this week," cautioned Phillip Futures analysts. "Nonetheless, [the] Fed could use this week's meeting to extend beyond 'late 2014' its conditional vow to maintain interest rates near zero. If Fed eases the monetary policy, this would help equities and hurt the U.S. dollar."

September crude oil futures were up 10 cents at $90.23 a barrel. December gold futures were up by 50 cents at $1,623.20 an ounce.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury fell 1/32, raising the yield to 1.552%. The greenback was trading up 0.17%, according to the dollar index.

In U.S. economic news, the Chicago Fed Midwest Manufacturing Index increased 1.1% in June, to a seasonally adjusted level of 94.1. Revised data show the index was down 1.4% in May.

On Friday, the Labor Department publishes the July jobs report, which is expected to show a tepid gain of 100,000 in nonfarm payrolls after a rise of just 80,000 new workers in June, according to a survey of economists by Thomson Reuters. The unemployment rate is expected to stay at 8.2%.

On the corporate front, Chevron (CVX) said it plans to invest $2 billion to develop its Lianzi oilfield, which is located between the Republic of Congo and Angola. The oilfield has proven reserves of 70 million barrels of oil.

Shaw Group (SHAW) agreed to be acquired by CB&I in a cash-and-stock transaction valued at about $3 billion.

HSBC (HBC) put aside about $2 billion for the mis-selling of payment protection insurance to British customers and to cover "certain law enforcement and regulatory matters" in the U.S. related to money-laundering controls.

The bank, Europe's biggest, reported Monday that underlying profit for the first six months of 2012 fell 3% to $10.6 billion.

General Motors (GM - Get Report) said Sunday its global chief marketing officer, Joel Ewanick, had resigned. His resignation is effective immediately.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier Sunday that Ewanick was on his way out. Citing anonymous sources, the newspaper said he and GM were expected to decide whether he would resign or be removed from the company.

News of Ewanick's departure follows GM's announcement Wednesday that it was restructuring its executive ranks to eliminate redundancy and complexity.

Although GM CEO Dan Akerson last month voiced support for Ewanick, the marketing chief has come under criticism for his decision to stop paid advertising on Facebook (FB), the Journal noted.

Federal regulators are looking into engine problems on a Boeing (BA) 787 Dreamliner that caused the Charleston International Airport to temporarily close on Saturday.

Boeing said the 787 had an "engine issue" while it was undergoing preflight runway testing. Boeing also confirmed the National Transportation Safety Board was investigating the incident.

Jury selection in federal court begins Monday in the patent fight between Apple (AAPL) and Samsung.

Apple alleges that Samsung's smartphones and computer tablets are illegal knockoffs of its iPhone and iPad. Apple is seeking $2.5 billion in damages.

Meanwhile, Apple and Twitter are currently not in discussions on Apple taking a stake in the social networking site, Reuters reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

Berkshire Bank of New York filed a lawsuit related to the Libor-setting scandal, alleging that it lost interest income because rates on loans tied to the London interbank offered rate were artificially depressed.

Anadarko Petroleum (APC) is expected by analysts Monday to post second-quarter earnings of 77 cents a share on revenue of $3.45 billion.

Of the 280 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings to date for the second quarter, 67% have reported earnings above analyst expectations, according to a Thomson Reuters report. This is higher than the long-term average of 62% and lower than the average over the past four quarters of 68%, the report said.


-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Andrea Tse.

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