Futures Rise Slightly; Commodities Rebound

Stock index futures gained ahead of the open on Monday, rising in line with commodities as investors hunt for bargains after last week’s sharp losses for oil and silver in particular.

A stronger-than-expected payrolls report helped stocks bounce back on Friday from four days of losses.

Hertz Global Holdings gained after news the car rental company was making another attempt to buy Dollar Thrifty for $2.1 billion. Avis Budget was having difficulty getting regulatory clearance for a rival bid. Last week, Dollar Thrifty solidly beat earnings results and raised its profit outlook.

Citigroup, the third-largest U.S. bank by assets, will start trading on Monday at around $45 a share for the first time since October 2007, as a result of a 1-for-10 reverse split. Citi shares were trading at about $4.52 Friday, Reuters reported.

McDonald's gained after news the fast-food chain's same-store sales at established restaurants rose 6 percent in April.

On the economic front, Goldman Sachs cut its forecast for U.S. economic growth this year to 3 to 3.5 percent from 3.5 percent to 4 percent. In a research note, the investment firm cited signs of slowing momentum in economic growth, rising gasoline prices, and fiscal tightening for cutting its forecast.

No major economic reports were due on Monday. Later this week retail sales, and well as producer and consumer price data will provide direction for stocks.

The weekly jobless claims report on Thursday will also be important after a surprising jump to 474,000 claims reported for the week before last, the worst number since last August.

Obama Administration officials meet Chinese officials in Washington on Monday and Tuesday for the third meeting of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue.

European stocks were lower in morning trade amid renewed concerns over the European debt crisis.

Top euro zone officials discussed the need for new adjustments to the Greek aid program, and Irish officials added to concerns by saying any concessions given to Greece should also result in better terms for Ireland, Reuters reported.

Standard & Poor's cut its rating on Greece to "single-B/single-C" from "double-B-minus/single-B." The rating agency cited "rising rescheduling risk" for the move, and maintained its "negative" CreditWatch outook.

On the Calendar This Week:

MONDAY: Employment trends index, Intel announcement, Citi reverse stock split takes effect; earnings from Activision Blizzard after-the-bell.
TUESDAY: NFIB small business index, import and export prices, wholesale trade, Richmond Fed president speaks, 3-year Treasury note auction; Google developers conference, CIT Group shareholder meeting; earnings from Dean Foods before-the-bell, and Disney after-the-bell.
WEDNESDAY: Weekly mortgage applications, international trade, oil inventories, Atlanta Fed president speaks, 10-year Treasury note auction, Cleveland Fed president speaks, Minneapolis Fed president speaks, Treasury budget, AIG IPO roadshow, Comcast shareholder meeting, Senate judiciary hearing on AT&T merger; earnings from Arcelor Mittal and Toyota before-the-bell, and Cisco and Symantec after-the-bell.
THURSDAY: PPI, retail sales, jobless claims, business inventories, 30-year Treasury bond auction, money supply, NPD video game sales, Ford shareholder meeting, options industry conference; earnings from Kohl's and Macy's before-the-bell, and Nordstrom after-the-bell.
FRIDAY: CPI, consumer sentiment, Transocean shareholder meeting; Earnings from Petrobras

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