Stock Market Today: Futures Rise as Citigroup Reaches $7B MBS Settlement

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were signaling a firmer open on Wall Street Monday as European contagion fears subsided and Wall Street grew more optimistic that second-quarter earnings growth momentum will overcome shifting monetary policy.

Citigroup (C) beat second-quarter earnings estimates, helping to push shares higher in premarket trading. The stock rose nearly 4% to $48.82 after the bank reported adjusted earnings of $1.24 a share vs. the consensus estimate of $1.05. Citigroup also announced a $7 billion settlement with U.S. authorities over the investigation of its sales of mortgage-backed bonds.

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Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were advancing 58 points, or 69.19 points above fair value, to 16,939, with the blue-chip index still trading near the psychological threshold of 17,000. S&P 500 futures were gaining 6.25 points, or 7.63 points above fair value, to 1,968.75. Nasdaq futures were nudging up 18 points, or 18.12 points above fair value, to 3,915.5. Markets took a turn upward in the afternoon session Friday, though closing with only minor gains. Markets in Europe and Asia were also back in positive territory on Monday.

"Reassured that systemic risks from Portugal are very limited, even in a worst case scenario, the dust settled somewhat Friday after Thursday's market tremors," wrote Michala Marcussen, global head of economics at Societe Generale.

As the economy continues to improve and labor market trends point higher, Gina Martin Adams, Wells Fargo Securities' institutional equity strategist, is expecting the S&P 500 to post 6.5% year-over-year EPS growth for the second quarter, up from the 3.3% reported in the first quarter and 3.9% a year ago. Adams said signs that index EPS growth may finally begin accelerating with the second-quarter season after two years of below-trend earnings growth include an improvement in revision momentum, an increasingly positive shift in company guidance, and earnings growth broadening to non-financial industries.

Other individual companies to watch Monday include Shire (SHPG), AbbVie (ABBV), Lindt, Russell Stover Candies, Whiting Petroleum (WLL), Kodiak Oil & Gas (KOG), as well as Samsung.

Shire, the Dublin-based drugmaker, said Monday it would be willing to recommend to its shareholders a new $53 billion takeover bid from AbbVie. Lindt, the Swiss chocolate maker, said it's buying U.S. manufacturer Russell Stover Candies for an undisclosed sum. Whiting Petroleum is buying Kodiak Oil & Gas for $3.8 billion in stock and the assumption of $2.2 billion in debt, in a deal that will make it the largest producer in the booming Bakken region of North Dakota and Montana. Samsung, the world's biggest smartphone maker, said it has suspended business ties with a Chinese supplier that allegedly hired children.

-- By Andrea Tse in New York

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