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Global Gains Bring Buyers Before Hours

Stocks are poised for solid gains at the start of trading Monday, following rallies in major markets in Asia and Europe.

The dollar index slid 0.7 percent, setting the stage for a big run-up in commodity prices. Gold jumped about $20 an ounce while oil rose as much as 1 percent, boosted also by a surge in Chinese imports.

Monday officially kicks off quarterly earnings season, as Dow component Alcoa releases its numbers. That won't happen until after the closing bell, but will help set the tone for the rest of the week and beyond.

In stock movement, Time Warner Cable shares gained 3 percent in premarket trading after Barron's said the stock had the potential to rally 30 percent in 2010.

The S&P 500 is coming off its best weekly gain since the week ended Nov. 6.

Though it promises to be an event-filled week, the economic and earnings calendar is actually on the light side for the start. No major economic reports are set for release, and one of the few notable events on the schedule is an economic address by Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart at 12:45 pm New York time.

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard is continuing his tour of China, saying the Federal Reserve's monetary policy is unlikely to be pushed off course by the surprisingly large number of job losses in the December employment report.

Investors will once again keep an eye on orange juice futures. Florida citrus growers appear to have escaped the worst of the latest deep freeze, though there are further freeze alerts in effect. Last week saw orange juice futures prices reach their highest levels in two years on worries about the cold weather.

Futures prices fell in early going as forecasts called for temperatures in the Sunshine to rise during the week.

A multibillion dollar beer transaction is in the news as Heineken struck a deal to buy the beer business of Mexico's FEMSA for approximately $5.4 billion. FEMSA will become a major shareholder in Heineken as part of the deal.

Winterizing Your Portfolio - A CNBC Special Report
Winterizing Your Portfolio - A CNBC Special Report

Look for plenty of auto news today and in the days ahead, as the widely followed Detroit Auto Show gets underway. Electric and hybrid vehicles are likely to grab the lion's share of the attention.

And NBC has canceled Jay Leno's 10 pm show as of Feb. 12. No decisions have yet been made about what the network will do going forward, but NBC executive Jeff Gaspin did say that his goal is to restore Leno to his old time of 11:35 pm and push back the Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien back by a half hour. (CNBC is part of NBC Universal.)

- Written by Peter Schacknow, Senior Producer, CNBC Breaking News Desk.

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