Ahmed Elbatrawy

Stocks: Europe remains in focus

premarkets, stocks, markets

Click on chart for more premarket data.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — U.S. stocks were set to open slightly higher Monday, as investors await another round of earnings reports and the latest data on retail sales, with anxieties about Europe still looming.

The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU), SP 500 (SPX) and Nasdaq (COMP) futures were higher in premarket trading. Stock futures indicate the possible direction of the markets when they open at 9:30 a.m. ET.

Europe remains in focus this week, with Spanish 10-year bond yields climbing to 6.11% on Monday — their highest level in several months. Italian yields also rose slightly, while German yields dropped to 1.73% as investors fled to safety.

Investors will be watching auctions of Spanish government bills on Tuesday and bonds on Thursday. Spain has been struggling with rising borrowing costs amid fears that the government will not meet its fiscal targets and may need to be bailed out.

In corporate news, Citigroup (C, Fortune 500) and Mattel (MAT, Fortune 500) are scheduled to report earnings ahead of the opening bell.

Stocks are coming off of their worst week of the year. Last week, the Dow tumbled 1.6%, the SP 500 sank 2% and the Nasdaq lost 2.3%.

World markets: European stocks were slightly higher in morning trading. Britain’s FTSE 100 (UKX) rose 0.5%, the DAX (DAX) in Germany ticked up 0.4% and France’s CAC 40 (CAC40) added 0.6%.

Asian markets ended lower. The Shanghai Composite (SHCOMP) slipped 0.1%, while the Hang Seng (HSI) in Hong Kong shed 0.4% and Japan’s Nikkei (N225) dropped 1.7%.

Economy: The Commerce Department is expected to report retail sales ticked up only 0.3% in March after rising 1.1% in February.

Higher gas prices have boosted the figure significantly in recent months, but the true test of the economy will be whether consumers increased their discretionary spending at places like restaurants, department stores and electronics stores.

Companies: Citigroup is expected to report earnings of $3.1 billion, or $1 per share, on revenue of $19.8 billion — roughly in line with its results a year ago.

So far, bank earnings are off to a solid start, after both Wells Fargo (WFC, Fortune 500) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM, Fortune 500) topped estimates when they released reports Friday. Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500), Goldman Sachs (GS, Fortune 500) and Morgan Stanley (MS, Fortune 500) will all report earnings later in the week.

Mattel is expected to report earnings of 7 cents per share, or $23.96 million overall, on revenue of $989 million.

Currencies and commodities: The dollar gained against the euro and the British pound, but fell versus the Japanese yen.

Oil for May delivery slipped 43 cents to $102.40 a barrel.

Gold futures for April delivery fell $14.50 to $1,644.60 an ounce.

Bonds: The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury fell, pushing the yield up to 1.99%. To top of page

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Ahmed Elbatrawy