Stock Futures Point to Modest Gains


NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stock futures were pointing higher Monday following last week's consensus-topping U.S. nonfarm payrolls report for July.

Some comforting words from a European Central Bank official also helped support the outlook for investors.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 14 points, or 28.83 points above fair value, at 13,069. Futures for the S&P 500 were rising 3.1 points, or 5.46 points above fair value, at 1392. Futures for the Nasdaq 100 were rising 11.75 points, or 11.85 points above fair value, at 2682.

The major U.S. averages on Friday erased losses for the week after better-than-expected jobs and services reports.

The Labor Department said Friday that U.S. nonfarm payrolls rose by 163,000 in July, better than the 100,000 expected by economists in a Reuters survey.

Over the weekend, European Central Bank executive board member Benoit Coeure told Slovakian newspaper Hospodarske Noviny that the ECB wouldn't let sovereign bond yields increase as a result of investors bets against the currency and should find ways to channel loans into the real economy.

"Whether our funding operations should be better targeted to the financing of the real economy, and particularly of SMEs, even though the implementation would obviously be difficult, would deserve further thoughts," he said.

He also told the paper that "any means to channel ECB liquidity where it is most needed, namely to households and enterprises, is worth considering."

In other European news, international inspectors have finished their review of Greece's progress in fulfilling the requirements of its second bailout, with plans to return in September to decide on whether to provide Greece with more aid.

Greek officials and inspectors have reportedly made a lot of progress on talks towards measures that would save the country more money and lead to more spending cuts.

In the U.S., Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is scheduled for two minor speeches on Monday and Tuesday. There are no major U.S. economic releases on tap for Monday.

The FTSE in London was up 0.1% and the DAX in Germany was rising 0.59%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index finished ahead by 1.69% and the Nikkei in Japan settled up 2%.

September crude oil futures were down 36 cents at $91.04 a barrel. December gold futures were up $3.50 at $1,612.80 an ounce.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury rose 4/32, diluting the yield to 1.552%. The greenback was rising 0.15%, according to the dollar index.

Knight Capital Group ( KCG) secured $400 million in financing. In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Knight said an unnamed group of investors had "agreed to purchase an aggregate of $400 million of 2% convertible preferred stock," which "will be convertible into approximately 267 million shares of common stock of the Company."

The U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles is investigating whether Las Vegas Sands ( LVS) violated money-laundering laws by not reporting money transfers to its casinos from two big gamblers, according to the Journal.

Best Buy ( BBY) founder Richard Schulze has offered to buy the company for $24 to $26 a share.

International Airlines Group, the owner of British Airways and Spanish airline Iberia is considering the case for buying a minority stake in American Airlines ( AAMRQ.PK) to expand their commercial partnership and ensure that American remains part of Oneworld, the global airline alliance, reported The Financial Times.

Tyson ( TSN), the meat and chicken processor, posted worse-than-expected third-quarter results amid tepid protein demand domestically and sharply higher grain costs.


-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Andrea Tse.

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