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Market Hustle: Stock Futures Rise After Crimea Referendum

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were pointing to a higher open Monday as uncertainties surrounding the weekend referendum in Crimea appeared to have dissipated and markets stayed relatively calm regarding any Western interventions following the vote.

Earlier gains were trimmed slightly following a narrow miss in a New York State manufacturing report.

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were gaining 66 points, or 70.33 points above fair value, to 16,058. S&P 500 futures were higher by 7.25 points, or 7.02 points above fair value, to 1,840.25. Nasdaq futures were 17.5 points ahead, or 19.73 points above fair value, to 3,638.5.
  • The Empire State manufacturing index for March came in at 5.6, up from 4.5 in February, but slightly missing the consensus estimate of 6.
  • The rest of the economic docket Monday includes February industrial production and capacity utilization at 9:15 a.m. EDT, and the March National Association of Home Builders' housing market index at 10 a.m.
  • Other economic highlights this week include the Federal Open Market Committee policy announcement on Wednesday.
  • The referendum held in Crimea over the weekend indicated that a vast majority of Crimeans wanted to part from Ukraine and join Russia. The U.S. and Europe see the move as a breach to international law and are expected to intervene with the threat of sanctions.
  • Many are of the view that the tensions between the West and Russia are unlikely to escalate out of control. For instance, "Russia and Europe are very co-dependent economically, so both have an incentive to contain the Crimean crisis," noted Ed Yardeni, New York-based chief investment strategist at Yardeni Research.
  • European markets were mostly higher, with the FTSE 100 in London up 0.4% and the DAX in Germany up 0.56%. The Hong Kong Hang Seng closed down 0.3% and the Nikkei 225 in Japan finished down 0.35%.
  • Hertz Global (HTZ - Get Report) was jumping 8.16% after The Financial Times reported that the company is preparing to spin off its construction equipment rental business in a deal expected to value the division at about $4.5 billion.
  • Sears (SHLD - Get Report) was popping more than 3% after announcing that its board approved the separation of its Lands' End business via a spinoff.
  • Twitter (TWTR - Get Report) was rising 0.91% in premarket trading as CEO Dick Costolo visited China for the first time as the company tries to introduce itself into one of the world's largest and fastest-growing Internet markets. Costolo was scheduled to arrive in Shanghai on Monday.

-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York

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