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Futures Stall After Summer Rally

Stock index futures were flat to slightly higher ahead of the open Monday as investors look to see if the summer rally will keep pushing the major indexes higher.

Any moves higher were limited after Aetna said its profit fell 28 percent in the second quarter. The insurer's adjusted earnings were 68 cents a share, well below Wall Street estimates of 78 cents, and shares fell 7.7 percent in premarket trading.

It's a bit less busy on the earnings front this week, but only a bit. About 30 percent of the S&P 500 will report this week, but to this point Wall Street has gotten through earnings season with flying colors — if you're a bull.

The Nasdaq had been up for 12 sessions in a row prior to Friday's modest losses, and the major averages are headed for strong monthly gains as July ends.

Honeywell said its quarterly earnings dropped 38 percent but was in line with estimates, while Dow component Verizon reported profit of 63 cents per share that also appeared to meet expectations. Verizon shares were flat premarket after rising immediately after the earnings announcement.

Also, shares jumped about 5 percent for RadioShack after the company reported profit of 39 cents per share that beat analyst estimates. Corning shares fell 2.6 percent even though the company's earnings beat expectations. The specialty glass and ceramics company warned of difficulty ahead.

Biotech giant Amgen will report after the bell.

The only economic report of note this morning comes at 10 am New York time, when new home sales for June will be released. Economists are looking for a gain of 3.8 percent from May levels.

Fed chairman Ben Bernanke defended the Fed's actions in trying to end the financial crisis at a town hall meeting in Kansas City Sunday. It's part of an event to be aired this week on PBS.

Investors will keep an eye this week on events related to the health care reform bill, though it's likely now that any final action won't happen until after Congress returns from its August recess.