Stocks Headed for Moderately Higher Open as Oil Falls

NEW YORK - U.S. stocks headed for a moderately higher open Monday as oil prices ticked lower and the dollar advanced.

Wall Street just had its first negative week in a month and investors will look to a flurry of economic figures due this week to determine where the economy might be headed.

Light, sweet crude fell 66 cents to $125.30 per barrel in premarket electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil prices surged nearly $10 last week, touching off concerns about rising prices and their affect on businesses and consumers.

The dollar's advance Monday appeared to help ease some concerns about inflation. A weak dollar can exacerbate price increases, especially since hard commodities like oil become more attractive to investors seeking a hedge against inflation.

Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 35, or 0.3 percent, to 12,779.

Standard & Poor's 500 index futures advanced 5.20, or 0.4 percent, to 1,394.20, and Nasdaq 100 index futures rose 1.5, or 0.1 percent, to 1,964.8.

Bond prices slipped. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves opposite its price, rose to 3.79 percent from 3.78 percent late Friday. The dollar was higher against most other major currencies, while gold prices fell.

In corporate news, FedEx Corp. late Friday lowered its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings forecast, citing rising fuel costs.

MBIA on Monday posted a $2.41 billion first-quarter loss, as the struggling bond insurer took heavy charges to write down the value of liabilities amid continued deterioration in the credit markets.

First-quarter losses at wireless carrier Sprint Nextel more than doubled to $505 million, as it lost more monthly subscribers.

Mortgage lender IndyMac Bancorp swung to a first-quarter loss as credit markets continue to deteriorate.

Investors will be looking to other readings on consumers this week to determine the toll rising energy costs might be having. Government figures are due on retail sales in April. And retailers including Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Macy's Inc., JCPenney Co. and Kohls Corp. are due to report first-quarter results.

Overseas, Japan's Nikkei stock average rose 0.64 percent. In morning trading, Britain's FTSE 100 was up 0.42 percent, Germany's DAX index rose 0.56 percent, and France's CAC-40 rose 0.66 percent.


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