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Stock Futures Rise as GE to Buy Lufkin for $3.3 Billion

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stock futures were rising Monday as General Electric (GE) announced a deal Monday to buy Lufkin Industries (LUFK) for $3.3 billion, and investors anticipated the start of earnings season with a report from Alcoa (AA - Get Report).

Futures for the S&P 500 were up 5.25 points, or 3.87 points above fair value, to 1,551.25. The index last week suffered its largest weekly decline of 2013 after a slowdown in jobs growth triggered pessimism about the pace of the U.S. economic recovery.

Lufkin shares were soaring 37.4% in pre-market trading to $87.84 following the announcement that General Electric plans to acquire the Lufkin, Texas-based oil services equipment manufacturer.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were rising 33 points, or 25.75 points above fair value, to 14,517. Futures for the Nasdaq were ahead by 9.75 points, or 7.3 points above fair value, at 2,772.75

Alcoa (AA - Get Report), the aluminum giant, is expected by analysts on Monday to post first-quarter earnings of 8 cents a share on revenue of $5.88 billion after the market closes. That's down from Alcoa's adjusted earnings of 10 cents a share on revenue of $6.01 billion in the year-earlier quarter. Shares were up 0.97% to $8.32 in premarket trading Monday.

No major U.S. economic releases were scheduled for Monday.

Todd Salamone, vice president of research at Schaeffer's Investment Research in Cincinnati, said in a note Saturday that while April began with a whimper, things could have been worse given the amount of uncertainty plaguing the global markets. He said technical support levels remain resilient amid rising skepticism, with bulls still "quietly in control."

Meanwhile, his colleague, Rocky White, a quantitative analyst at Schaeffer's Investment Research, wrote Saturday that although earnings season is being approached with skepticism, the skepticism suggests that companies will have a lower bar to jump.

White's analysis of the most recent weekly sentiment survey released by the American Association of Individual Investors shows that 35.5% of investors are bullish, which also indicates some pessimism from investors. This "is good news for the upcoming earnings season."

The DAX in Germany was higher by 0.27% and the UK FTSE 100 was up 0.36%. The Nikkei 225 in Japan closed ahead by 2.8% and the Hong Kong Hang Seng index finished down 0.04% on Monday as Chinese stocks got hit by bird flu worries.

May crude oil futures were rising 71 cents to $93.41 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was unchanged at a yield of 1.714% and the dollar was rising 0.18% to $82.64 according to the U.S. dollar index.

Constellation Brands (STZ - Get Report) was gaining 2.93% to $49.24 and Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) was tacking on 1.79% to $99.35 after the companies and Grupo Modelo, Mexico's largest brewer on Friday said they reached an agreement with the Justice Department to allow AB InBev's $20 billion acquisition of Grupo Modelo to move forward by addressing the Justice Department's antitrust concerns over the deal. Revisions to the agreement include giving control of Modelo beers sold in the U.S. to Constellation Brands.

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals (BCRX - Get Report) was surging 21.76% to $2.07. The developer of anti-influenza drug Peramivir got a boost after China's Food and Drug Administration on Friday said it expedited its approval of the drug amid reports of rising bird flu infections in China.

Written by Andrea Tse in New York

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

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