Wall St futures signal higher open; earnings eyed

* U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Wall
Street on Monday, with futures for the S&P 500 (SPc1: Quote, Profile, Research), the Dow
Jones (DJc1: Quote, Profile, Research) and the Nasdaq 100 (NDc1: Quote, Profile, Research) up 0.1 to 0.3 percent.

* Aluminium maker Alcoa (AA.N: Quote, Profile, Research) will unofficially kick off
the U.S. earnings season on Monday. The company is expected to
report quarterly earnings of 27 cents per share on revenue of
$6.07 billion, according to Thomson Reuters estimates.

* Deutsche Boerse (DB1Gn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Sunday its planned
acquisition of NYSE Euronext (NYX.N: Quote, Profile, Research) was on track after NYSE’s
board of directors unanimously rejected a counter offer by
Nasdaq (NDAQ.O: Quote, Profile, Research) and ICE (ICE.N: Quote, Profile, Research). [ID:nLDE7390J6]

* U.S. President Barack Obama will lay out his approach for
long-term U.S. deficit reduction later this week, his senior
adviser David Plouffe said on Sunday.

Obama will look at the Medicare and Medicaid government
healthcare programs for the elderly and the poor to “see what
kind of savings” are possible, Plouffe told NBC’s “Meet the
Press” program, without giving details. [ID:nN10197400]

* Britain’s top banks should shield their retail operations
from riskier investment banking activities and hold more capital
to protect taxpayers in the event of another financial crisis, a
report said. [ID:nLDE7371AX]

* Resource-related stocks will be in focus as copper prices
(CMCU3: Quote, Profile, Research) advanced on a weaker dollar and encouraging China trade
data. Gold (XAU=: Quote, Profile, Research) hit a record high, while silver (XAG=: Quote, Profile, Research) climbed
to its highest in more than three decades.

* China recorded a rare trade deficit in the first quarter
of the year on the back of domestic economic strength and rising
global commodity prices, the customs administration said on
Sunday. [ID:nLDE73A03X]

* Brent crude (LCOc1: Quote, Profile, Research) fell towards $126 a barrel, while U.S.
crude futures slipped after touching a 2-1/2-year high as the
African Union said Muammar Gaddafi had accepted a roadmap to end
the civil war in Libya. [ID:nL3E7FB0Z5]

* The Union said Gaddafi has accepted an immediate ceasefire
and added that the issue of his stepping down had also been
discussed. Rebels have said they will accept nothing less than
an end to Gaddafi’s four decades in power, but Libyan officials
say he will not quit. [ID:nLDE73A03S]

* Japan’s Nikkei average (.N225: Quote, Profile, Research) fell on Monday after
Citigroup slashed ratings on major automakers to “sell”.
European stocks dropped 0.3 percent ahead of the earnings season
and prompted investors to book recent gains.

* On Friday, the Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: Quote, Profile, Research) was
down 29.59 points, or 0.24 percent, at 12,379.90. The Standard &
Poor’s 500 Index (.SPX: Quote, Profile, Research) was down 5.36 points, or 0.40 percent,
at 1,328.15. The Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: Quote, Profile, Research) was down 15.73
points, or 0.56 percent, at 2,780.41.
(Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Erica Billingham)

Wall St futures signal higher open; earnings eyed