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Wall Street heads to higher open           Send a link to a friend

[September 24, 2007]  NEW YORK  (AP) -- Wall Street headed for a higher open Monday, as investors held on to their optimistic view of the economy after the Federal Reserve's interest rate cut last week.

Investors this week will be eyeing a number of economic reports that could further solidify the advance. Many investors are hoping readings on durable goods, existing home sales and consumer spending will give the Fed room to cut rates further.

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Dow Jones industrials futures expiring in December rose 32, or 0.23 percent, to 13,933. S&P 500 index futures rose 4.10, or 0.27 percent, to 1,538.50, and Nasdaq 100 Index futures rose 5.75, or 0.28 percent, to 2,074.25.

Last week, the Dow added 2.9 percent, the Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 2.8 percent, and the Nasdaq composite was up 2.7 percent.

There are no economic reports due during the session. However, speeches are expected from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, Dallas Fed president Richard Fisher, and Chicago Fed governor Charles Evans.

The euro rose to another new record against the dollar on Monday, hitting $1.4130 as the Fed interest rate cut continued to weigh on the U.S. currency.

The market could get a lift from a Wall Street Journal report that limits on Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's investment portfolios could be lifted in February if they begin filing timely and audited financial statements. Under the plan, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight would allow the two government-backed mortgage providers to be given more flexibility and to expand.

In corporate news, General Motors Corp. will likely be under pressure as United Auto Workers have threatened to strike if a new contract isn't reached. Both sides met throughout the weekend, and the union set a strike deadline for 11 a.m EDT

Ford Motor Co. Chief Executive Alan Mullaly said the auto maker is in talks with potential buyers of the company's Jaguar and Land Rover Brands. The company also began operations of its newest joint-venture factory in China, where it will produce both the Ford and Mazda brands.

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Dell Inc. on Monday said it will launch a retail presence in China by selling computers through the country's biggest chain of electronics stores. The deal extends Dell's strategy of expanding beyond its traditional Internet-and-phone sales model into retail to better compete with rivals.

Xerox Corp. on Monday launched a system promising to slash the cost of color printing for high-volume users willing to pay more initially for machines. Five new printers were unveiled that would make printing color pages on par with black-and-white.

Oil prices fell as a tropical depression in the Gulf of Mexico dissipated without causing damage to key oil and gas infrastructure. A barrel of light sweet crude dropped 72 cents to $80.90 in premarket trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In European trading, Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.42 percent, Germany's DAX index fell 0.12 percent, and France's CAC-40 rose 0.10 percent.

In Asia earlier, Japan's Nikkei index fell 0.62 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 2.74 percent.

[Associated Press; by Joe Bel Bruno]

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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