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Stock Futures Rise as Earnings Season Begins; Dell Advances

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stock futures were drifting higher Monday as 10-year Treasury yields eased following a big spike Friday as investors awaited the unofficial kickoff of the second-quarter earnings season and anticipated more information on the Federal Reserve's timing for a wind down in quantitative easing.

Futures for the S&P 500 were rising 8.75 points, or 10.46 points above fair value, to 1,636. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were adding 69 points, or 88.16 points above fair value, to 15,145. Futures for the Nasdaq were tacking on 18 points, or 18.23 points above fair value, to 2,974.5.

Dell ( DELL) shares were advancing 2.69% to $13.38 in premarket trading as the drama between Michael Dell, Carl Icahn and the battle for Dell appears to be coming to an end, as an influential proxy advisory firm backs Dell's bid for his company. In a surprising move, Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) has endorsed Dell's $13.65 per share offer for the Round Rock, Texas-based company as the best deal for shareholders.

Microsoft ( MSFT) was little changed at $34.25 in premarket trading. The company is shuttering MSN TV on Sept. 30. Microsoft bought the product for $425 million in 1997.

Facebook ( FB) was rising 0.66% to $24.53. The company's official debut of "Graph Search" begins Monday though the beta version of the feature has been available to many Facebook members since January.

U.S. stocks surged Friday after shaking off early concerns that the strong jobs growth in June might prompt the Federal Reserve to curb the stimulus measures that have fueled equity markets for more than 18 months.

After the report, the 10-year yield spiked to 2.725%, the highest level since August 2011, before showing signs of easing on Monday. Investors have been concerned about a rebound in interest rates before homebuyers and businesses were ready amid signs of the economy getting better and the possibility of reduced Fed support.

Minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee's June 18 to 19 meeting are due out Wednesday, with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke scheduled to speak in Boston on the same day. Investors will be watching both events for more clues into the timing of Fed's stimulus tapering and any specific guidelines from which these decisions will be made.

On Monday, Alcoa (AA) unofficially kicks off second-quarter earnings season after the market close. The aluminum producer is expected to post earnings of 6 cents a share on revenue of $5.83 billion, according to Thomson Reuters. Bank earnings will also begin rolling in this week, with J.P. Morgan Chase's (JPM) scheduled for Friday. Alcoa was rising 0.77% to $7.86 in premarket trading.

A Thomson Reuters report says that of the 22 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings to date for the second quarter, 64% have reported earnings above analyst expectations. This is higher than the long-term average of 63% but below the average over the past four quarters of 67%. Thomson Reuters said that second-quarter earnings in 2013 are expected to grow 2.9% over the same time last year.

The report adds that 45% of companies have reported second-quarter revenue above analyst expectations, which is lower than the long-term average of 61% and below the average over the past four quarters of 48%.

The U.S. economic calendar is light Monday, with the Federal Reserve scheduled to report on consumer credit changes in May. An increase by $12.5 billion is expected by economists, after a rise of $11.1 billion in April.

August crude oil futures were slumping 58 cents to $102.64 a barrel, while August gold futures were rising $18.40 to $1,231.10 an ounce.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was rising 8/32, diluting the yield to 2.714%. The dollar was falling 0.09% to $84.37 according to the U.S. dollar index.

Written by Andrea Tse in New York

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

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