U.S. stock futures signal pause after sharp rally

* U.S. stock index futures pointed to a pause on Wall Street
on Monday after last week’s strong rally fuelled by
better-than-expected U.S. jobs data.

At 0837 GMT, futures for the S&P 500 (SPc1: ) were down 0.02
percent, Dow Jones (DJc1: ) futures up 0.07 percent and Nasdaq 100
(NDc1: ) futures up 0.08 percent.

* Crude oil extended gains to an eight-week high above $82 a
barrel on Monday, buoyed by a weaker dollar.

* Investors were digesting comments by China’s central bank
governor Zhou Xiaochuan, who said the timing of China’s exit
from economic stimulus would require prudence, easing concerns
over immediate monetary policy tightening. [ID:nTOE62701T]

* AIG (AIG.N: ) is closing in on a deal to sell its foreign
life insurance unit to MetLife Inc (MET.N: ) for about $15.5
billion in cash and stock, leaving it with a substantial
minority stake in MetLife, sources familiar with the matter
said. For details, see: [ID:nN07141732]

* Toyota Motor Corp’s (7203.T: ) president said on Monday he
believed that sales in North America could recover in March
after a sharp decline last month as the automaker suspended
sales of some recalled models.

* Bank of New York Mellon Corp (BK.N: ), the world’s largest
custodian of financial assets, said it agreed to acquire
Germany’s BHF Asset Servicing GmbH for about $343 million.

* Japan’s Nikkei average rose 2.1 percent to a six-week
closing high on Monday, with exporters up on a weaker yen, while
European shares gained 0.1 percent in early trade, up for the
seventh consecutive session, helped by easing concerns over
Greece’s finances. [.T] [.EU]

* U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) jumped and the Nasdaq hit an 18-month closing
high on Friday as U.S. employers cut fewer jobs than expected
last month and consumers showed signs of shedding their
penny-pinching ways.

* The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: ) gained 122.06
points, or 1.17 percent, to end at 10,566.20. The Standard &
Poor’s 500 Index (.SPX: ) added 15.73 points, or 1.40 percent, to
1,138.70. The Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: ) rose 34.04 points,
or 1.48 percent, to 2,326.35.

* The Dow and the S&P 500 closed at their highest levels in
six weeks. The S&P 500 is now off only 1 percent from a 15-month
closing high set on Jan 19, having clawed back from a drop of
more than 8 percent through Feb.8. All three indexes are now
positive for the year. For the week the Dow rose 2.3 percent,
the Nasdaq added 3.9 percent and the S&P 500 climbed 3.1
percent.

Stock Market Report

(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)

U.S. stock futures signal pause after sharp rally