The death toll from the two-week conflict topped
500 amid growing international calls for a ceasefire, and
Israeli jets, tanks and artillery continued to pound the Gaza
Strip. Fighters from Hamas, which controls Gaza, have repeatedly
tried to infiltrate Israel over the past week through a network
of hidden tunnels.
Ukraine launched a military assault to break a rebel hold on the
eastern city of Donetsk in the first major fighting in the area
since a Malaysia Airlines jet with 298 people aboard was shot
down last week. The United States and its allies have pointed
the finger at pro-Russian rebels and at Moscow itself over the
downing of the plane. Russia has denied involvement and blamed
the Ukrainian military for the disaster.
The United States and the EU last week announced further
economic sanctions against Russian interests, which could become
more stringent following the crash.
S&P 500 e-mini futures <ESc1> were down 5 points and fair value,
a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest
rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract,
indicated a lower open. Dow Jones industrial average e-mini
futures <1YMc1> fell 42 points, and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures
<NQc1> lost 5 points.
The economic calendar included the Chicago Fed's National
Activity Index due at 8:30 a.m. EDT.
Halliburton Co <HAL.N> shares rose 1.5 percent premarket after
the world's No. 2 oilfield services provider reported a 20
percent increase in quarterly profit. The company also boosted
share repurchases to $6 billion from $5 billion.
EMC Corp <EMC.N> jumped 4.7 percent premarket. Activist investor
Elliott Management Corp acquired a $1 billion stake in the data
storage equipment maker, and plans to push the company to spin
off its VMware Inc <VMW.N> unit, the Wall Street Journal
(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)
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