STOCKS HEAD FOR EARLY GAINS

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By CNNMoney staff

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — U.S. stocks were poised for a higher open Monday, as investors cheer news that Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. forces.

The founder and leader of al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, was killed by U.S. forces in Abbottabad, north of Pakistani capital of Islamabad.

In an address to the nation Sunday night, President Barack Obama called bin Laden’s death, “the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat al Qaeda.”

Dow Jones industrial average (INDU), SP 500 (SPX) and Nasdaq (COMP) futures were up about 0.5% ahead of the opening bell. Futures measure current index values against perceived future performance.

Meanwhile, oil prices retreated with crude for June delivering sliding $2.07, or nearly 2%, to $111.86 a barrel.

“Oil can be a globally emotional, reactive market and any time that geopolitical risk is reduced there is less fear in the oil markets,” said Derek Hoffman, chief executive and founder of Wall St. Cheat Sheet. “The news that there was a successful effect to find, capture and kill the number one terrorist in the world is a positive sign.”

Gold prices also backed off their highs Monday. Gold futures for June delivery fell 30 cents to $1,556.10 an ounce, after hitting an intraday high of $1,577.40 an ounce.

On Friday, stocks finished their best month this year.

Stocks have headed higher since the beginning of the year amid strong earnings. Despite jitters about the economy and concerns about inflation, April was the best month for the three indexes since December.

World markets: Markets around the world had a muted reaction to Osama bin Laden’s death with Britain’s FTSE 100, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong and the Shanghai Composite all closed for holiday.

Other European stocks rose slightly in morning trading. The DAX in Germany rose 0.7% and France’s CAC 40 edged higher 0.3%.

And Japan’s Nikkei ended the session 1.57% higher.

Economy: Wall Street will get the Institute for Supply Management’s April manufacturing index, as well as construction spending figures from the Commerce Department, both out at 10 a.m. ET.

Economists polled by Briefing.com expect the April ISM index will fall to a reading of 58.5 from March’s 61.2, while construction spending figures are expected to fall 0.5%.

Investors will also get monthly auto sales figures from the major car makers starting at around 11 a.m. ET.

Companies: For earnings, investors will get quarterly results from natural gas provider Chesapeake Energy (CHK, Fortune 500), utility company ConEd (ED, Fortune 500) and health insurer Humana (HUM, Fortune 500) among others.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect health insurance giant Humana to post a profit of $1.36 per share for the quarter.

Currencies and commodities: The dollar fell against the euro, but gained strength against the Japanese yen and the British pound.

Bonds: The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury dipped, pushing the yield up to 3.3%.  To top of page


Article source: http://rss.cnn.com/~r/rss/money_topstories/~3/qNUWHQWJ3Ug/index.htm

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