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Futures Mixed After Six Weeks of Gains

CNBC.com
Monday, 20 Aug 2012 | 9:19 AM ET

U.S. stock index futures were mixed Monday following six weeks of gains, but hopes of further bond buying by the ECB helped limit losses.

The Dow and S&P 500 both logged their sixth-straight week of gains last week, closing a touch below below four-year highs.

Investor sentiment was initially buoyed by a report in a German magazine that the ECB would set a threshold for yields on bonds of troubled euro zone countries and would buy the bonds if their spreads over safe-haven German bunds exceeded a certain level.

Last week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated her support for ECB President Mario Draghi's strategy to help the euro zone. Merkel is scheduled to meet with French President Francois Hollande on Thursday.

Lowe's tumbled after the home-improvement chain posted quarterly results that missed expectations and slashed its earnings outlook for the fiscal year.

On the M&A front, Coventry Health Care surged after the company insurer Aetna has signed a deal to acquire the company for $5.6 billion in cash and stock.

September Key Month for Euro Zone
Henry Dixon, fund manager at Matterley Asset Management, told CNBC, the key date will be the second week of September when the German constitutional court will vote on the ESM and whether it can cap yields.

Best Buy named Hubert Joly, former CEO of hospitality and travel company Carlson, as its new chief executive, in hopes to turn around the struggling consumer-electronics retailer. The company also said founder Richard Schulze has rejected an offer from the board to conduct due diligence in connection with his proposal to take the company private at a valuation of more than $8 billion. Best Buy is slated to post earnings Tuesday.

The Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee begins a two-day meeting on Tuesday, with the latest interest rate decision and statement due on Wednesday.

—By CNBC’s JeeYeon Park (Follow JeeYeon on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC)

What's Happening This Week:

TUESDAY: Fed’s Lockhart speaks; Earnings from Best Buy, Medtronic, Dell
WEDNESDAY: Weekly mortgage apps, existing home sales, oil inventories, FOMC minutes; Earnings from H-P
THURSDAY: Jobless claims, PMI manufacturing index flash, new home sales, FHFA home price index; Earnings from Gold Fields, Hormel Foods
FRIDAY: Durable goods orders, USDA food prices outlook

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