U.S. Stocks Set to Rise as Banks Get Support

Premarket futures were suggesting a higher open for U.S. stocks Monday, as governments worldwide initiated massive emergency aid packages for struggling banks.

Futures for the S&P 500 were up 49 points at 940 and were 38 ahead of fair value. Nasdaq futures were higher by 62 points at 1344 and were 66 better than fair value.

Central banks across the globe were initiating policies to offer liquidity to banks and bolster lending markets.

The U.K. announced a plan to inject capital into three of its struggling banks. Royal Bank of Scotland ( RBS), Lloyds ( LYG) and HBOS will get up to $63 billion in government support, the U.K. government said.

Australia said it would guarantee all of its banks' deposits and international debt. The United Arab Emirates said it would guarantee its domestic bank deposits. France and Italy are expected to detail their own plans later Monday. Germany, meanwhile, was preparing to expand a bailout package for its banks to $680 billion.

According to a report by Bloomberg, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson was looking into a U.S. program to guarantee debt issued by domestic banks following the significant intervention by European governments.

The Federal Reserve said it would offer unlimited dollar funding to swap facilities with several European central banks to meet increasing demand.

In company news, mergers and equity investments were dominating the headlines. The Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. government was working to guarantee Mitsubishi UFJ's ( MTU) $9 billion investment in U.S. bank Morgan Stanley ( MS). Morgan Stanley should reaffirm Monday that the deal will go through with minor changes, the Journal report said.

Meanwhile, Banco Santander ( STD) said it may acquire all of troubled U.S. thrift Sovereign Bancorp ( SOV).

Outside the financials, General Motors ( GM) was in discussions with Cerberus Capital Management to buy Chrysler's automotive operations, according to published reports. Cerberus owns an 80% stake in Chrysler.

As for commodities, crude oil was up $3.02 at $80.72 a barrel, and gold was higher by $3.80 at $862.80.

The market for U.S. Treasury securities was closed. The dollar was falling substantially vs. the euro and pound but rising against the yen.

Europe's exchanges, such as the FTSE in London and the DAX in Frankfurt, were trading higher. In Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 10%. Japan's Nikkei was closed for a holiday.

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