11:25 AM New York – U.S. markets extended losses on Monday as investors await the start of the earnings season. European markets closed higher and the Nikkei in Tokyo surged for the fourth day as the yen declined to the level last seen in 2009.
U.S. stocks extended losses of Friday and the dollar edged slightly higher as investors await the beginning of earnings season.
The S&P 500 index decreased 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite Index increased 0.2% and the narrow of index of 30 large companies Dow Jones was nearly unchanged.
) was in focus and the aluminum maker is scheduled to release earnings after the close.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is scheduled to speak at an Atlanta Fed conference later this evening.
In European trading, FTSE 100 index increased 0.4% to 6,278 and the DAX index gained 0.2% to 7,674 and CAC-40 index advanced 0.3% to 3,676.
Total German output increased 0.5% in February from the previous month, beating the expectations of 0.4%.
Portuguese markets declined after Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho said he would look for new austerity measures to keep the European Union bailout program on track after a Constitutional Court rules that some of the measures to eliminate public employee payments were discriminatory.
Asian markets were mixed but market indexes in Japan extended gains for the fourth day in a row.
The Nikkei index surged 2.8% and reached a high last seen August 2008 and the yen declined 1% to trade above 99, the level last seen in June 2009.
Stocks in Review
Lufkin Industries (LUFK
) soared 38% after the oil and gas company agreed to be acquired by General Electric for $3.3 billion in cash.
National Bank of Greece, Greek bank listed in New York, plunged 10% after the government suspended its planned merger with Eurobank Ergasias, after the two lenders failed to increase capital in an offering.
Television broadcasters, News Corp, CBS and Disney, the owner of ABC television network, declined ahead of industry gathering in Las Vegas. The latest two court decisions have permitted retransmission of broadcast signals by Aereo and allowed Dish Network’s hopper service to blackout ads for its hopper service.
Avon Products Inc (AVP
) declined 0.2% after the largest direct seller of cosmetics said it will eliminate 400 positions and exit Ireland market.
The company plans to close or restructure several of its operations in smaller markets in Europe, Middle East and Africa and the latest cuts will save annually between $45 million and $50 million.
) and J.C. Penney (JCP
) were in focus and the two companies are set to begin trial over who has exclusive rights to sell Martha Stewart products.