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Futures flat ahead of Fed reports

Mike Yamamoto (mike.yamamoto@optionmonster.com)

U.S. stock index futures are roughly flat this morning after the market ended last week with a three-day losing streak.

S&P 500 futures are off 0.1 percent while the Nasdaq 100 is up fractionally at the time of this writing. European indexes are showing red, with France's CAC down 0.9 percent, the German DAX off 0.3 percent, and the U.K. FTSE falling more than 0.4 percent.

Asian markets were mostly lower overnight with the exception of Japan's Nikkei and the Shanghai Composite, which both rose about 0.8 percent. The U.S. dollar is down against most major currencies but has gained against the Japanese yen, usually a bullish move for equities.

Stocks dropped last week as Treasury yields rose sharply in anticipation of the Federal Reserve tightening monetary policy as early as next month. The 10-year note posted its highest close in two years on Friday at 2.824 percent and is rising again this morning.

The move in yields, combined with lackluster economic data released last week, has raised speculation that the Fed will delay changes in its easy-money policy. Traders will get further insight into the central bank's thinking on Wednesday when it release the minutes from its last meeting.

In addition, regional Fed data will be released from Chicago tomorrow and Kansas City on Thursday. Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen, a leading candidate to succeed Chairman Ben Bernanke, is scheduled to make an appearance on Friday.

Commodities are mostly lower, with crude oil down 0.3 percent this morning after six positive sessions in a row. Copper is down today as well after its own win streak, while spot gold and silver prices are off fractionally.

The corporate-earnings schedule is light today as the season continues to wind down. Apparel retailer Urban Outfitters and Chinese game developer Perfect World report quarterly results after the market closes today.

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