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Pre-Market: Janet Yellen Speaks in Chicago; Apple-Samsung Lawsuit Begins


New revelations have emerged in the congressional investigation into GM.

Stock futures pointed toward a higher open on Monday.

Before the opening bell, Dow Jones (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures rose 0.39% to 16,295. Futures on the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) were up 0.41% to 1,857.90. Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures moved higher, rising 0.48% to 3,580.25.

Jury selection begins today for the second major US court battle between Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung (OTCMKTS:SSNLF), the former suing the latter for $2 billion over five software patent infringements, and the latter counter-suing the former over two patent infringements. Apple's lawsuit is being seen as an attack against Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), since four out of the five features Apple is suing over are part of Google's Android operating system, which runs on Samsung devices. Shares of Apple were up 0.33% in pre-market trading.

Federal Reserve Chairperson Janet Yellen kicks off a busy week of economic indicators with a speech in Chicago at 9:55 a.m. While Yellen is speaking at a conference on community investment, it's possible she'll address her recent comment that interest rates could start to rise six months after the Fed ends its bond-purchasing program next fall (driving an earlier-than-expected rise in interest rates). In addition to Yellen's speech, investors will be paying attention to the Chicago PMI at 9:45 a.m. and the Dallas Fed's manufacturing survey at 10:30 a.m.

Overnight, Asian stocks climbed higher for their fourth straight day, gaining back losses sustained over the past month. Japan's major indices rose as the yen remained lower, despite Japanese industrial production falling 2.3% in February. South Korea's Kospi index remained in the green after the country returned fire when North Korea shot shells over the disputed western sea border in a military exercise.

In Europe, stocks retreated from early gains after eurozone inflation missed expectations, falling to a 52-month low in March. The drop lends to concerns that the eurozone is moving toward deflation, and puts more pressure on the European Central Bank to drop interest rates at its Thursday policy meeting.

On Sunday, US congressional investigators revealed auto-parts maker Delphi Automotive (NYSE:DLPH) has said General Motors (NYSE:GM) approved parts that did not meet GM's specifications in 2002, which have since been linked to 13 deaths. It was also revealed that federal regulators twice declined to open formal investigations into complaints about GM cars. GM also purportedly rejected a plan that would fix its faulty ignition switch problem because it would've been too costly and taken too long. Shares of GM were down 0.81% in pre-market trading.

Switzerland has followed the US, England, Singapore, and Germany after its competition commission WEKO launched an investigation on Monday into a number of Swiss and foreign banks over Forex manipulation. Banks under investigation include UBS (NYSE:UBS), Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS), Citigroup (NYSE:C), and JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM), among others

In other stock news, China's online commerce giant Alibaba will make its first play in the traditional brick-and-mortar retail space when it invests $692 million in the Asian department store operator Intime Retail.

Twitter: @brokawbrokaw
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