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Stocks were pinned to the flatline early Monday as bond yields held near four-year highs and traders played defense ahead of the coming crush of first-quarter earnings reports.

Index futures recently showed the

S&P 500

trading at fair value, while the Nasdaq 100 was set for a fractional decline. The 10-year Treasury bond was up 1/32 in price to yield 4.98%, while the dollar fell against the euro and rose against the yen.

Stocks took a circuitous route to nowhere last week as Friday's employment report spurred inflation jitters and profit-taking among


-obsessed investors. For the five sessions, the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

gained 11 points to 11,120, while the S&P 500 and


ended virtually flat, at 1296 and 2339, respectively.

Year-to-date, stocks are solidly higher, with the Dow up 402 points, or 3.8%, entering Monday, while the S&P 500 has risen 48 points, or 3.8%, and the Nasdaq is up 134 points, or 6.1%.

The gains in stocks have coincided with a sharp runup in oil prices, with front-month crude going from about $61 at the start of the year to a Friday close of $67.39. The nearly 11% run has reflected concerns about supply lines in several overseas hotspots and falling gasoline inventories domestically. Recently, May crude was up another 70 cents to $68.09 a barrel in electronic Nymex trading.

Overseas stocks were narrowly mixed, with London's FTSE 100 recently adding 0.3% to 6041 and Germany's Xetra DAX unchanged at 5954. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei fell 0.6% overnight to 17,457, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.3% to 16,522.


(AA) - Get Free Report

kicks off the earnings parade with first-quarter numbers later Monday.



reports Tuesday, followed by

Circuit City

(CC) - Get Free Report


Advanced Micro

(AMD) - Get Free Report

on Wednesday.

It's also a reasonably big week for economic data, including reports on the trade deficit Wednesday, retail sales and consumer sentiment Thursday, and industrial production on Friday.

Among companies,

J.P. Morgan

(JPM) - Get Free Report

confirmed a deal Saturday to transfer its corporate trust business plus $150 million in cash to

Bank of New York

(BK) - Get Free Report

in exchange for 338 Bank of New York retail bank branches. The deal had been previewed in media reports a week ago.

Swiss drugmaker



says it's no longer for sale. The company hired Goldman Sachs to solicit buyout offers but reportedly didn't see bids near the $15 billion price it was targeting. Serono says it will consider making its own acquisitions to expand.


(DIS) - Get Free Report

reportedly will announce a plan Monday to greatly expand Web-based broadcasting of television programs from its ABC unit. The initiative would be the first time a major network made prime time shows available for streaming without major restrictions, although viewers won't be able to skip commercials, the

Wall Street Journal


In early research, UBS lowered stock ratings across the board in the semiconductor-equipment space, citing concerns about future orders. Names going from buy to neutral include

Applied Materials

(AMAT) - Get Free Report



(KLAC) - Get Free Report


Lam Research

(LRCX) - Get Free Report


To view David Peltier's video take on today's premarket action, click here