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Futures Rise on Earnings Optimism

Futures indicated a mildly higher open for Wall Street on Monday as better-than-expected third-quarter results began trickling in, boosting investors' optimism about the overall earnings season.

Deal news took the spotlight early.

Onyx Pharmaceuticals has agreed to buy Proteolix for an upfront cash payment of $276 million. Onyx also could pay another $535 million, depending on whether to new company reaches various development and regulatory approval milestones. Onyx shares gained 1.6 percent in premarket trading.

Market activity will be lighter than normal. The Columbus Day holiday closes the U.S. bond market, banks, government offices and many businesses, though the stock market will be open for a normal day of trading.

  • Dow 30: Extra-Hour Quotes
  • Pre-Markets/Futures Data
  • The Dow had its highest close in over a year on Friday, the two-year anniversary of its record close.

    Investors will be spending much of the day looking ahead to earnings season and some key economic numbers like the consumer price index, initial jobless claims, and consumer confidence.

    Among news items of interest, St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard says medium term inflation risks could be higher than many think. He spoke at an economic conference in St. Louis over the weekend.

    Various published reports indicate that private equity firm Blackstone Group is planning to list up to eight companies in its portfolio and selling five others. This is being seen as another sign of a healthier market for IPOs and M&A activity.

    Shares of investment bank Lazard are under pressure overseas, following news that chairman/CEO Bruce Wasserstein has been hospitalized with an irregular heartbeat, though he is said to be stable and recovering.

    KB Home shares may bear watching, as the SEC announces an investigation of possible accounting and disclosure issues.