U.S. Futures Inch Higher; Focus on Fed

 |  Includes: DIA, QQQ, SPY
by: SA Eli Hoffmann

U.S. equity futures pointed to a higher open Monday as investors await Tuesday's Fed decision. Dow futures were up 50 points, S&P 500 futures rose five points, while Nasdaq futures gained 6.25 points over Friday's close.

European markets posted gains Monday morning (full story) after Swiss bank UBS (NYSE:UBS) said it would take a $10 billion writedown on subprime assets, but also announced a $11.5 billion cash infusion from two investors (full story). MGI Pharma (MOGN) said it would be acquired by Japan's Eisai (OTCPK:ESALY) for $3.9 billion (full story). And media reports claim Blackstone Group (NYSE:BX) is looking to join with China Investment Corp. in a counterbid to BHP Billiton's (NYSE:BHP) $129 billion offer for Australian miner Rio Tinto (RTP) (full story).

H&R Block (NYSE:HRB) is set to report earnings Monday, and Citigroup (NYSE:C) is expected to name a new CEO (Vikram Pandit is the current front-runner) either Monday or Tuesday.

No major economic announcements are due today as investors gear up for Tuesday's FOMC decision. Before Friday's strong job numbers (full story), odds of a half-point cut to the fed funds rate were 36%; they now stand at just 26%.

Sources: MarketWatch

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