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Stock Futures Cautious Amid Higher Chinese Exports

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stock futures were pointing to little change for markets amid strong Chinese export data and a potential cut in the Federal Reserve's massive bond-buying program next week. 

 
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were off 3.00 to 16010.0 while S&P 500 futures were 0.75% higher at 1805.75. Nasdaq futures were up 4.80 to 3508.8.
 
Global markets were mostly higher Monday after Chinese export data beat expectations, pointing to strengthening demand from the world economy. Chinese exports were 12.7% higher in November against a 5.6% gain in October while inflation was below forecasts at 3%. The world's second-largest economy posted its biggest trade surplus in almost five years of $33.8 billion for November from $31.1 billion a month earlier.
 
U.S. budget talks were reportedly close to breaking an impasse on fiscal negotiations, with aides for both parties saying they were hopeful of an agreement to address between $100 billion to $200 billion in automatic spending cuts.
 
Japan's current account unexpectedly fell into deficit in October while growth slowed more than expected in the third quarter. Gross domestic product rose by an annualized 1.1% from the prior quarter, the Cabinet Office said. 
 
Separately, ministers from the World Trade Organization reached agreement on the weekend to reduce the cost of trade by up to 15% through simplifying customs procedures - a move that could add up to $1 trillion to the world economy.
 
Major U.S. markets closed higher Friday, breaking a five-day losing streak as strong employment data fueled hope that market gains will continue despite the higher prospect that stimulus will be wound back soon. 
 
Stocks expected to see price action today include McDonald's (MCD) and Vail Resorts (MTN). McDonald's is expected to release its November sales results while Vail is forecast to post a fiscal first-quarter loss of $1.91 a share on revenue of $121.2 million. Other companies due to post quarterly earnings include PVH Corp.  (PVH), Casey's General Stores (CASY), ABM Industries (ABM) and Analogic  (ALOG)
 
There is no significant economic data due Monday. Various Federal Reserve bank presidents will speak on the economy, including Richmond's Jeffrey Lacker, St Louis's James Bullard and Dallas's Richard Fisher. Monthly retail sales and weekly jobless claims are due Thursday with the producer price index out Friday. The Fed meets next week to consider whether the economy is sufficiently strong for it to begin winding back $85 billion a month in bond purchases. 
 
Germany's DAX was 0.10% higher while the FTSE was off 0.20%. The Hang Seng finished 0.29% higher while the Nikkei rallied 2.29%. 
 
 

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