In the Headlines
Wall Street futures headed higher Monday, building on last week's gains on major indices. As is often the case lately, the bullish trade in U.S. equities follows upside action overseas. Advancers outpaced decliners in European trade after Italy's new prime minister rolled out new austerity plans over the weekend.
The German and French prime ministers meet in Paris today, ahead of the eurozone summit Friday. Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy will hold a press conference later today.
The euro showed gains vs. the dollar before Wall Street's opening bell.
In Asia, indices closed mostly higher in anticipation of some good news from Europe this week.
The U.S. econ calendar includes the Commerce Department's report on October factory orders. Economists expect a decline of 0.4% on lower aircraft purchases. The drop would follow a gain in September. The report is due out at 10 a.m. EST.
Also at 10 is the Institute for Supply Management's services index for November, seen coming in at 53.4. The previous level was 52.9. Economists see the non-manufacturing sector, which covers a wide swath of the economy, to grow at its best levels in six months.
Gold, which finished last week with gains, lost $7.10 in electronic trade, to $1,744.20 per ounce.
Crude oil gained $0.79 early Monday, to $101.75 per barrel.
Fuel-price tracker Lundberg survey said the average price of gasoline in the U.S. fell by $0.09 per gallon over the past two weeks, despite the increases in crude.
In deal news, German enterprise software maker SAP (SAP) said it would buy San Mateo, Calif.-based Success Factors (SFSF) for $3.4 billion in cash, or $40 per share. That marks a 52.4% premium over Friday's closing price.
The move is part of the ongoing efforts of legacy tech firms to shift more customer-focused applications to the cloud.
SAP shares fell $0.95, 1.6%, to $58.59 in early trade. Success Factor jumped $13.65, 52%, to $39.90 ahead of the bell.
Discount retailer Dollar General (DG) said third-quarter earnings beat views by $0.03, coming in at $0.50 per share. Revenue of $3.6 billion also beat. Analysts had expected sales of $3.57 billion in the quarter.
The Tennessee-based company also raised its full-year earnings guidance.
Dollar General shares were up $0.06, 0.15%, to $40 following the announcement.
After the close, auto parts and repair retailer Pep Boys (PBY) reports its third quarter. It's expected to earn $0.13 per share on sales of $523.17 million. Those levels would mark year-over-year gains for the small-cap.
In premarket trade, Altria (MO) advanced $0.34, 1.2%, to $28.75. The company said it would take a fourth-quarter charge of $119 million as a result of two lawsuit judgments.
Graphics software maker Autodesk (ASDK) fell $0.31, 0.91%, to $33.66 ahead of the bell. Goldman Sachs downgraded the stock to Sell from Neutral, saying the move was based on slowing sales trends.
Goldman was more enthusiastic about iron-ore producer Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF), initiating coverage on the company with a rating of Conviction Buy.
Cliffs shares rose $2.81, 4.11%, to $71.15 in early trade.