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Wall Street Opens Modestly Higher

Crude oil is losing $1.26 to $124.70 a barrel. Gold futures are down $5.20 to $880.60 an ounce.

Updated from 8:04 a.m. EDT

Wall Street floated higher at the open Monday as traders looked to stem the prior session's selloff amid oil prices that, at least for the moment, were taking a break from last week's fierce run-up.


Dow Jones Industrial Average

climbed 34 points to 12,780, and the

S&P 500

added 2 points at 1390. The

Nasdaq Composite

was up 4 points to 2449.

Last time out, the broad indices took a slide, including a 120-point loss on the Dow, after insurance titan

American International Group

(AIG) - Get American International Group, Inc. Report

reported another big loss and crude oil reached a new high again.

But the new day saw crude retreating from some of those gains, losing $1.26 to $124.70 a barrel. Gold futures were down $5.20 to $880.60 an ounce. The U.S. dollar firmed by 0.2% against the euro to $1.5453 while jumping 0.9% against the yen.

On the corporate front,


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(MBI) - Get MBIA Inc. Report

dropped 4.6% after the beleaguered mortgage insurer lost $2.41 billion in the first quarter. The loss came as MBIA took a $3.6 billion hit in unrealized losses on insured derivatives.

Also swinging to a first-quarter loss was mortgage lender



. The firm, which lost $184.2 million, or $2.27 a share, warned that it won't achieve a profit until the plunge in housing prices eases up.



was up 2.7% in the premarket, however, after saying first-quarter earnings climbed from last year, thanks to its success in emerging markets such as Asia. That came even as the Britain-based bank wrote down $2.6 billion in assets and doubled its loan-impairment charges.

Away from financials,

Sprint Nextel

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shares were off 4.3% after the telecom-services outfit sharply widened its first-quarter loss to $505 million, or 18 cents a share, as it continued to lose subscribers. Stripping out one-time expenses, Sprint made 4 cents a share, or 2 cents better than expected. Still,

revenue fell short


XM Satellite Radio


also lost more money its latest quarter, but the stock was climbing. XM's merger partner


(SIRI) - Get Sirius XM Holdings, Inc. Report

is expected to post its results following the close of trading.

Meanwhile, confirmation came that



has agreed to pay Tribune Co. $650 million for the Long Island newspaper Newsday. Over the weekend, Rupert Murdoch's

News Corp.

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retracted its own $580 million offer

for the paper. Cablevision slipped 1.8%, and News Corp. rose 3.4%.

Elsewhere, after Friday's market close


(FDX) - Get FedEx Corporation Report

said harsh economic conditions and climbing fuel prices have squeezed its bottom line, and the package-delivery outfit

slashed its current-quarter earnings forecast

. Shares were down 2.7%.

Treasury prices were little changed. The 10-year note dipped 1/32 in price to yield 3.78%, and the 30-year bond added 2/32 in price, yielding 4.52%.

Markets abroad were mixed. In Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 added 0.6% overnight. Hong Kong was closed. Among European exchanges, the FTSE 100 in London, the Xetra Dax in Germany, and the Paris Cac were all up 0.3% or more.