Update as of 0800 Eastern Time:
Bottom Line Up Front:
From Fox News (Economy):
Like several times in the past month, U.S. stock markets are taking their Monday trading cues from overseas – as European governments backed yet another financial institution combined with two moves by Asian governments overnight.
In the U.S., investors will have another slurry of earnings reports to work through combined with testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke at 10 a.m. EST in front of the House Budget Committee.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 171 points to 8941 as of 8:15 a.m. in New York. The S&P 500 futures, a better gauge of the broader market, were up 21.40 points to 954.70 while the Nasdaq 100 futures gained 29.50points to 1340.25. Fair value for the Dow futures is around -90 points, which would make the Dow open up +80 at the 9:30 a.m. opening.
Early Monday morning The Netherlands' government injected 10 billion Euros, or $13.4 billion, into insurance and banking giant ING Groep(ING: 10.65, -4.05, -27.55%) on Monday. It sent shares of the bank up more than 30% in Amsterdam trading.
The injection is to help increase ING’s tier-one capital ratio, a common indicator of a bank’s health and liquidity, to 8%.
ING said last week that it expected to post a loss of 500 million Euros when it formally announces earnings next month. It would also write down about 1.6 billion Euros-worth of investments as well, the company said.
ING is one of Europe’s largest financial firms and is commonly known in the U.S. for its high-yield online savings accounts and insurance products. The $13.4 billion injection is part of a larger liquidity plan created by The Netherlands after that country had to nationalize the financial firm Fortis. Shares of ING are down more than 70% this year alone.
The announcement helped push European markets broadly higher. London's benchmark index was up 2.14% while Germany's stocks rose 1.4%.
From CNN (Iraq):
U.S. troops or contractors who commit "major and premeditated murders" in Iraq while off-duty and outside U.S. facilities would fall under Iraqi jurisdiction, according to a copy of a draft U.S.-Iraq agreement obtained by CNN.
All other crimes -- including murders committed inside U.S. facilities or by on-duty forces -- would fall under American jurisdiction, according to the draft, which would govern U.S. troops' presence in Iraq.
The issue of whether U.S. troops would remain immune from Iraqi prosecution has been a sticky one for negotiators crafting the Status of Forces Agreement draft, which Iraqi lawmakers are reviewing. The United States had preferred its troops and contractors retain immunity.
The draft also calls for U.S. troops to be out of Iraqi cities by July 30, 2009, and out of the country entirely by December 31, 2011. The agreement allows for an earlier withdrawal or an extension of the U.S. forces' stay in Iraq, by agreement of both parties.
It also allows the Iraqi government to "request from the United States government to leave certain forces for training and for support purposes for the Iraqi forces."
The governments have been trying to get a deal before December 31, when a U.N. mandate authorizing the U.S. troop presence in Iraq expires.
Iraq's ruling Shiite parliamentary bloc said Sunday it needs more time before it can approve the draft
From CNN (Afghanistan):
Gunmen on a motorbike fatally shot a foreign aid worker Monday who was on her way to work in Kabul, the Afghan Interior Ministry said.
There were conflicting reports about the aid worker's nationality.
The British Foreign Office identified the woman as a British citizen named Gayle Williams. The Afghan Interior Ministry said she was South African.
The South African Department of Foreign Affairs said it was trying to confirm the report. The country does not have a presence in Afghanistan and was working through its mission in Islamabad, Pakistan.
The woman worked for SERVE (Serving Emergency Relief and Vocational Enterprise), an inter-denominational Christian charity that helps the disabled, Interior Ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashary.
She was shot in the western part of the city, Bashary said.
SERVE says it employs 23 expatriates and 450 Afghans in the country.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the death, saying on its Web site that it killed the "foreign woman" for preaching Christianity in the country.
The Taliban added that its members had been following the woman for some time.
More to follow:
God Bless America
Sphere: Related Content
Some Thoughts On Military Suicide
52 minutes ago