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Premarket: U.S. futures higher as G8 wants Greece in euro

A trader speaks on a headset while waiting for the close of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, in this file photo.


U.S. stock index futures rose on Monday after Wall Street posted its worst weekly loss for the year and on assurances that world powers want debt-laden Greece to remain in the euro.

On Saturday, G8 leaders stressed that their "imperative is to promote growth and jobs" and gave verbal backing for Greece to stay in the euro, but despite calls from the United States for immediate moves to boost growth, no sign emerged that Germany would soften its stance on austerity as the cure for Europe's debt problems.

Yahoo Inc. will be in the spotlight after news that Chinese Internet entrepreneur Jack Ma is buying back up to half of a 40 per cent stake in his Alibaba Group from Yahoo for $7.1-billion (U.S.), in a deal that moves the Chinese e-commerce leader closer to a public listing. The stock was up 7 per cent at $16.50 in premarket trade.

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Newly issued shares in Facebook Inc. may have a hard time in the coming week if lead underwriter Morgan Stanley stops supporting the stock and managers lower down in the IPO book who were hoping for an early surge decide to get out before going underwater.

The Nasdaq is planning to revamp its systems for handling stock offerings after acknowledging that technology problems had affected trading in millions of newly issued Facebook shares on Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The U.S. economy needs "measured" efforts to bolster growth, but the central bank should focus on improving its communications because circumstances do not warrant further bond buying at this time, said Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Dennis Lockhart.

Wanda Group, one of China's largest theatre owners, has agreed to buy AMC Entertainment in a deal valued at $2.6-billion, creating the world's biggest cinema operator, the companies said.

Lowe's Cos Inc., the world's second-largest home improvement chain, reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on strong spring sales. The company fell 3.1 percent to $27.60 in premarket trade.

U.S. stocks fell on Friday, posting the worst week for the year, after a sloppy debut by Facebook spoiled hopes that a spectacular open for the most-anticipated stock sale in years would brighten the mood in what has been a gloomy month for equity markets.

S&P 500 futures rose 9 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 80 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 16.5 points.

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Canadian markets are closed Monday.


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