Stocks headed for flat open


    By CNNMoney staffFebruary 28, 2011: 6:32 AM ET

    NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — U.S. stocks were flat ahead of the open, as investors keep a wary eye on ongoing tensions in Libya and await reports on personal income and spending.

    Dow Jones industrial average (INDU), S&P 500 (SPX) and Nasdaq (COMP) futures were flat ahead of the opening bell. Futures measure current index values against perceived future performance.

    U.S. stocks closed solidly higher Friday, but fears about Libya and the oil markets translated into the worst week for stocks since November.

    Friday’s gains came after the Dow posted losses for three consecutive sessions, following increased violence in Libya and rapidly rising oil prices. It was the worst week for stocks since mid-November

    Economy: Investors will get January personal income and spending figures from the Commerce Department at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists are looking for personal incomes to rise 0.3% in January, while the personal spending figure is seen rising at a slightly quicker 0.4%.

    Later Monday morning, the Chicago purchasing managers index will be released, followed by pending home sales at 10 a.m. from the National Association of Realtors.

    The Chicago PMI is expected to decline slightly to 67.5 from last month’s 68.8, and pending home sales are expected to fall 3.2%.

    Companies: Online closeout retailer (OSTK) reports quarterly results before the bell, while auction house Sotheby’s (BID) will report after the market close.

    Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expect to report earnings per share of 43 cents, on $364 in revenue.

    World markets: European stocks were mixed in morning trading. Britain’s FTSE 100 slid 0.5%, while the DAX in Germany ticked up 0.2% and France’s CAC 40 edged slightly above breakeven.

    Asian markets ended the session higher. The Shanghai Composite added 0.9%, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong gained 1.4% and Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.9%.

    Currencies and commodities: The greenback fell against the euro and the British pound, but rose versus the Japanese yen .

    Oil for April delivery slipped 3 cents to $97.85 a barrel.

    Gold futures for February delivery rose $1.20 to $1,410.50 an ounce.

    Bonds: The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury rose, pushing the yield down to 3.4% from 3.59% late Friday.  To top of page

    First Published: February 28, 2011: 6:29 AM ET

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    Stocks headed for flat open