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Futures Mixed After Fisher Remarks, Citi Earnings

Stock index futures are pointing to a mixed open Monday, regaining some ground after Dallas Federal Reserve President Richard Fisher said on CNBC that the Fed can't help the economy alone, and that there is "ample liquidity" in the market that hasn't been put to work.

Fisher also said the Federal Reserve needs the help of fiscal and regulatory authoritiesif it is to help the US economy grow at a faster pace.

Also on Monday morning, Citigroup reported quarterly earnings that beat analyst expectations, although net income dropped 20 percent from the quarter before.

Industrial production fell 0.2 percentin September, instead of rising 0.2 percent as expected. Capacity utilization, meanwhile, slipped to 74.7 percent, 4.2 percentage points above a year ago. Analysts at Briefing.com had expected capacity utilization to rise to 74.8 percent from 74.7 percent in August.

The National Association of Homebuilders' housing market sentiment index will be released at 10 .m.

Bank stocks fell sharply last Thursday and Friday as investors worried that the fallout from the growing crisis could lead to big costs for companies.

Banks could face fines and lawsuits and may be forced to repurchase faulty loans, analysts said.

The group reported a loss of 27 cents per share for the third quarter of 2009 on revenue of $20.4 billion.

Earlier, Hasbro reported net income and revenue that beat expectations on strong sales of preschool toys.

Halliburton also posted good results thanks to its onshore North American business, yet the stock slipped in the pre-market.

The big news on the earnings front comes after-the-bell, when Apple and Dow component IBM report earnings.

Analysts expect Apple’s fourth-quarter earnings to rise driven by growing iPhone sales. A recovery in global tech spending is expected to have buoyed IBM’s third-quarter earnings.

The persisting problems in the housing crisis have also sparked renewed concerns over the recovery of the broader economy.

Investors will be keeping a close eye on a set of economic indicators out on Monday that may indicate the need for further Federal Reserve action to support the flagging economy.

The monthly housing market index is expected to increase to 14 for October from September's 13 reading, Briefing.com showed.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Friday that high unemployment and low inflation point to a need for a further easing of U.S. monetary policy, fueling speculation that the Fed might take further steps to boost the economy as early as November.

European stocks were lower in early trading on Monday, while the dollar rose against a basket of currencies.

On the Calendar Next Week:

MONDAY: Housing market index, Atlanta Fed President Lockhart speaks; Corporate Governance Conference, Gartner Symposium, ABA Annual Convention; after-the-bell earnings from Apple and IBM.
TUESDAY: Housing Starts, Grant's Conference, CFTC Open Meeting on Dodd-Frank; Chicago Fed President Evans speaks; before-the-bell earnings from BofA, Coca-Cola, Goldman Sachs, J&J, AEP, Bank of NY Mellon, Harley-Davidson, Lockheed Martin, NY Times; after-the-bell earnings from Yahoo, Sallie Mae and Western Digital.
WEDNESDAY: Mortgage applications, oil inventories, Beige book; Apple Mac Event, Richmond Fed. President Lacker speaks, Philadelphia Fed President Plosser speaks; before-the-bell earnings from Abbott Labs, Boeing, BlackRock, Morgan Stanley, United Technologies, Wells Fargo, M&T Bank, US Airways; after-the-bell earnings from eBay, E*Trade, Netflix and Seagate Technologies.
THURSDAY: ECB Meeting, jobless claims, leading indicators, natural gas inventories, money supply, Kansas City Fed President Hoenig speaks, CBO Director Elmendorf speaks; before-the-bell earnings from AT&T, Caterpillar, Credit Suisse, Eli Lilly, Novartis, Travelers, UPS, Continental Airlines, PNC Bank, Southwest Airlines, and Xerox; after-the-bell earnings from American Express and Amazon.
FRIDAY: G20 Finance Ministers & Central Bank Governor's Meeting; before-the-bell earnings from Verizon, Exelon, Ingersoll-Rand and Schlumberger.

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