Feb 24 2014 | 10:00 AM

Ahead of the Bell: Dow futures are trading up 40 points and S&P futures are trading up 6 points. U.S. stock index futures pointed to a narrowly higher open on Monday, ahead of a quiet day for both earnings and economic data. No major companies are slated to post results before Wall Street opens. Economic data due include Markit's preliminary services PMI for February , the Chicago Federal Reserve index for January and the Dallas Fed manufacturing index for February.  Economists are expecting weather effects to be the main factor behind another run of weak economic news this week.  Trading may be light, with few domestic catalysts to drive markets until Thursday, when Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will speak to the Senate Banking Committee in her semi-annual testimony about monetary policy.  Yellen's comments will be scoured for any...

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Feb 21 2014 | 10:05 AM

Ahead of the Bell: Dow futures are trading up 33 points and S&P futures are trading up 4 points.  Investors are optimistic following upbeat factory activity data in the US in the previous trading session and the likelihood of more stimulus from Japan which is pushing global markets higher. The Bank of Japan is likely to ease policy further by this summer to help boost their economy and pull it out of a 15-year deflation, as the current regime's efforts seems to be losing momentum. Market participants will be paying close attention to developments from this weekend's Group of 20 meeting of finance ministers and central bank officials in Sydney. The group is expected to discuss global growth and recent turmoil in emerging markets.  On the geopolitical front, according to Ukraine's government a deal has been reached with the opposition to quell the violence and bloodshed, but the opposition is yet to confirm such accord.

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Feb 20 2014 | 9:41 AM

Ahead of the Bell: Dow futures are trading down 37 points and S&P futures are trading down 5 points.  The global economic recovery is still struggling to gain traction highlighted by China's slumping factory activity and the euro zone's shrinking service sector.  China's factory sector contracted again this month after the flash Chinese Markit/HSBC PMI fell to a seven-month low of 48.3 in February from January's 49.5. The euro zone's Markit's Composite PMI, which provides a good guide to growth in the region also fell to 52.7, just below January's high of 52.9. Investors will focus on the ECB's reaction as falling inflation has increased pressure on the central bank to consider new monetary policy to counter deflation risks and support the fragile recovery. Japan's trade deficit fell in January after exports spurred by a weak yen outpaced a surge in import costs, raising doubts about Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic policy.

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Feb 19 2014 | 9:28 AM

Ahead of the Bell: Dow futures are trading down 54 points and S&P futures are trading down 6 points.  Investors are cautiously trading while keeping a watchful eye on interest rates in China following unexpected weak economic data from the US.  Fed watchers are hopeful the central bank might be tempted to slow the pace of tapering, which could give emerging markets a breather after soft New York manufacturing and housing data. The Federal Reserve has indicated that it is still inclined to keep tapering, though traders assume the recent batch of soft economic data will encourage patience at the agency. The People's Bank of China in its efforts to engineer a gradual upward shift in the cost of money to encourage companies to deleverage and discourage high-risk shadow banking activity, could push interest rates higher and slow economic growth. Yields on the 10-year treasury eased a few basis points to 2.70% and the dollar lost ground...

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