published Monday, June 13th, 2011

US stocks set to rise after Dow falls below 12,000

NEW YORK — Stocks are set for a modestly higher opening Monday after the Dow Jones industrial average fell below 12,000 last week for the first time since March.

Weak economic news has sent stocks lower for six straight weeks. Investors are worried about a dismal housing market, a slowing manufacturing industry and a sluggish jobs market. The S&P 500 is down 6 percent in June, while the Dow is down 5 percent.

No economic reports are due out Monday. Later in the week, reports on retail sales, business inventories, consumer prices and industrial production will provide an update on the economic recovery.

In corporate news, Wendy's/Arby's Group Inc. rose 7 percent in pre-market trading after the company said it would sell control of its Arby's business to a private equity group.

VF Corp., whose brands include Wrangler and The North Face, said it would buy boot and clothing maker Timberland Co. for more than $2.2 billion. Timberland's stock soared 43 percent ahead of the opening bell.

Those deals helped to push U.S. stock futures higher, as well. Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 30 points, or 0.3 percent, to 11,903. Standard & Poor's 500 futures rose 3, or 0.3 percent, to 1,267. Nasdaq 100 futures rose 3, or 0.1 percent, to 2,221.

The Dow closed at 11,951.91 on Friday as traders worried that the economic recovery had stalled.

"Today we're looking at a little bit of a bounce," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at New York-based brokerage house Avalon Partners Inc., although he warned that the stocks could still fall further if economic news remained weak.

In European trading, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares rose 0.4 percent to 5,790, while France's CAC-40 edged up 0.4 percent to 3,819.06. Germany's DAX rose 0.2 percent to 7,084.

Oil prices fell to $98.75 a barrel on reports that Saudi Arabia planned to increase its crude production.

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