US stock futures point to slightly higher open

The Associated Press Published:

NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stock futures pointed to a slightly higher open Monday after a tough January.

KEEPING SCORE: Dow Jones industrial average futures were up 29 points to 15,659 about 50 minutes before U.S. stock markets opened Monday. The Standard & Poor's 500 index futures rose three points to 1,779 and Nasdaq futures edged up six points to 3,520.

TOUGH START: Stock investors were hit from all sides in January. Concerns about the global economy and U.S. company earnings, as well as turmoil in emerging markets, led the Dow to its worst start since 2009. The index slid 5.3 percent last month while the Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 3.6 percent.

SPINNING WHEELS: Chrysler said Monday its U.S. sales rose 8 percent in January, but that strong growth isn't expected to be the norm when other automakers report sales Monday. Analysts expect little or no growth compared with a year earlier because multiple snowstorms and cold snaps kept buyers from showrooms. Analysts still expect sales to be over 16 million this year -- a return to pre-recession levels.

DEAL DOUBTS: Jos. A Bank Clothiers fell $2.12, or nearly 4 percent, to $54.10 before Monday's opening bell on continued doubts that a takeover bid by rival clothier Men's Wearhouse will go through. The two retailers have been dueling since October when Jos. A. Bank offered $2.3 billion for Men's Wearhouse.

GLOBAL DRIFT: Major European stock indexes were little changed Monday. Britain's FTSE 100 inched up 0.3 percent to 6,526 but France's CAC-40 was down 0.1 percent to 4,160. Germany's DAX fell 0.2 percent to 9,286. The Nikkei 225, the barometer for the Tokyo Stock Exchange, closed down 2 percent at 14,619.13. The yen has reversed some of its weakness against the dollar in recent days, which is a negative for exporting stocks. Markets were closed in Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and Malaysia for Lunar New Year holidays.