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Stock Futures Higher as Fed's Bullard Backs Sustained Stimulus

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stock futures were tilting towards a higher open Monday after James Bullard, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, said the economy is not yet strong enough to prompt the central bank to curb its stimulus measure before year-end, and Kellogg (K) shares rose after the cereal maker announced layoffs.

St. Louis Fed President Bullard told CNBC on Monday that while there's been substantial progress in job creation, inflation remains very tame. Therefore, in his opinion, there shouldn't be any rush to scale back on the Fed's $85 billion a month bond buying program. He said his view is that inflation needs to recover to towards 2% before any action is taken.

Futures for the S&P 500 were rising 5 points, or 3.51 points above fair value, to 1,759.75. Futures forthe Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 45 points, or 38.45 points above fair value, to 15,587. Futures for the Nasdaq were gaining 14 points, or 10.39 points above fair value, to 3,382.

Federal Reserve Gov. Jerome Powell is expected to give an opening speech to the San Francisco Fed's Asia Economic Policy Conference in San Francisco at 11:40 a.m. Boston Federal Reserve Bank President Eric Rosengren is anticipated to speak on the economic outlook in Boston at 4 p.m.

About 80 S&P 500 companies are expected to report earnings this week, with Kellogg being one of the first among them.

Kellogg was gaining more than 1% to $63 after the cereal maker reported third-quarter earnings of 95 cents a share on revenue of $3.72 billion, beating the average analyst estimate of 89 cents a share on revenue of $3.71 billion.

Kellogg also said that it now expects that full-year reported earnings to be toward the lower end of its previously provided range of between $3.75 and $3.84 a share due to weaker than expected sales in certain categories in which the company competes. It announced that by the end of 2017, changes to the company's design and infrastructure should reduce Kellogg's global workforce by about 7%.

BlackBerry (BBRY) on the other hand was plummeting more than 18% to $6.33 as the company is reportedly abandoning the sale to Fairfax Financial Holdings. It will also replace its CEO, Thorsten Heins, according to the tweet from Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail.

Top economic events scheduled for this week include the government job report on Friday, advanced third-quarter gross domestic numbers on Thursday, and factory orders data on Monday.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is expected to report that nonfarm payrolls added 125,000 new jobs in October, down a rise of 148,000 September. The unemployment rate is expected to have risen to 7.3% after coming in at 7.2% the prior month.

On Thursday, the markets will also be bracing for the possibility that the European Central Bank may embark on monetary policy easing following evidence a steep inflation decline in the eurozone.

The Census Bureau is expected to report factory orders data for September and August at 10 a.m. EST Monday. Economists, on average, are expecting a rise of 1.7% for September following a 0.3% uptick in August.

The FTSE 100 in London was rising 0.38% while the DAX in Germany was up 0.23%. The Hong Kong Hang Seng closed down 0.26%. Markets in Japan were closed for a public holiday.

December oil futures were rising 6 cents to $94.67 a barrel. December gold futures were down 70 cents to $1,312.50 an ounce.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was unchanged with a yield of 2.621%.

--Written by Andrea Tse in New York

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