Stocks rose early Monday as traders went long on the first day of the third quarter. Index futures recently showed the S&P 500 trading 3 points above fair value, while the Nasdaq 100 was set for a 4-point gain. The 10-year Treasury bond fell 5/32 in price to yield 5.16%, while the dollar was higher against the yen and euro. The rise in stocks came despite Wal-Mart ( WMT) reporting a lackluster sales performance for June. The world's biggest retailer said on Saturday that same-store sales rose 1.2% for the month, toward the low end of its 1% to 3% growth target. Overseas markets were higher, with London's FTSE 100 recently up 0.5% to 5864 and Germany's Xetra DAX up 0.2% to 5694. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei rose 0.4% overnight to 15,572, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.4% to 16,327. Oil prices were lower despite Monday being one of the busiest driving days of the summer season. August crude recently fell 8 cents to $73.85 a barrel. Among other commodities, gold gained $27.10 to $616 an ounce, while copper gained half a cent to $3.36 a pound. Trading in U.S. stock markets ends early at 1 p.m. EDT Monday and will be closed Tuesday for the July Fourth holiday. The day's main economic report is the Institute for Supply Management's factory index for June. Economists expect a reading of 55 for last month, up from 54.4 in June. Separately, the Commerce Department will report on construction spending for May. Stocks finished moderately lower on Friday as investors consolidated positions following Thursday's Fed-ignited rally. For the second quarter, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.4%, while the S&P 500 fell 1.9% and the Nasdaq Composite lost 7.1%. The Dow's second-quarter outperformance reflected strength in General Motors ( GM). The company continued to be in the news Monday as Nissan's board authorized exploratory discussions toward bringing the No. 1 U.S. automaker into its alliance with Renault. The proposal reportedly is backed by Kirk Kerkorian, owner of 10% of GM's shares. In other corporate news, CBOT Holdings ( BOT), the parent company of the Chicago Board of Trade, said average daily trades totaled 3.3 million contracts in the second quarter, up 14% from a year ago and a record for the period. To view David Peltier's video take on today's premarket action,
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