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Pre-Market: Citi Beats Expectations, Facebook Rises on Financial Services News, and Global Markets Move Lower

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Facebook is reportedly closer to offering money transferring services.

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Stock futures pointed toward a higher open on Monday. Before the opening bell, Dow Jones (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures rose 0.32% to 16,032. Futures on the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) were up 0.40% to 1,818.90. Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures moved higher, rising 0.41% to 3,4568.25.

US retail sales kicked off this week's economic indicators, as retail and food services sales increased 1.1% from the previous month to $433.9 billion. Sales grew 3.8% year-over-year. Business inventories will be reported at 10:00 a.m.

Citigroup (NYSE:C) reported its quarterly profits rose 4% to $4.1 billion, with earnings per share of $1.30, beating analysts estimates. The good news follows the bank's failure to pass the Federal Reserve's latest stress test and an investigation of $400 million in fraud in its Mexican unit. Shares of Citigroup rose 3.55% before the open.

Ireland's Central Bank is reportedly close to granting Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) approval to offer money services that would let users store and use money on the social media network. This could be a boon for Facebook in the remittance market, reports the Financial Times. Shares of Facebook were up 1.38% in pre-market trading. 

According to the Financial Times:

The authorization from Ireland's central bank to become an "e-money" institution would allow Facebook to issue units of stored monetary value that represent a claim against the company. This e-money would be valid throughout Europe via a process known as "passporting."

Facebook has also discussed potential partnerships with at least three London start-ups that offer international money transfer services online and via smartphones: TransferWise, Moni Technologies and Azimo, according to three people involved in the discussions.
 
Elon Musk is reportedly visiting China this month to speak with China Petroleum Corp (NYSE:SNP) about building charging units in its nationwide gas stations. Earlier this month it was announced that Musk's Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) would begin selling its electric cars in China. Shares of Tesla rose 1.32% before the bell.

Glencore Xstrata Plc (LON:GLEN) has agreed to sell its Peruvian Las Bambas copper mine to a Chinese state-controlled consortium led by MMG Ltd. (OTCMKTS:MMLTF) for $5.85 billion. The deal marks one of China's largest mining acquisitions in the past few years, and it will be finalized by fall.

GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) is under investigation in Poland for paying doctors to promote its drug Seretide. The probe follows another similar one in China. Shares of GlaxoSmithKline were down 0.27% in pre-market trading.

Asian markets fell on Monday, with raw material stocks among the biggest losers. Shares also fell in Europe. Escalating violence in Ukraine drove the ruble's steepest decline against the dollar in a week, and investors took stronger positions in commodities. An emergency session of the United Nations Security Council saw US and Russian officials blaming each other for the recent uptick in violence. Among rising commodities, palladium moved to its highest level since August 2011, and nickel rose to its highest level since February 2013. Meanwhile, The EU is expected to pass tough restrictions against high-frequency trading as part of its updated markets legislation, and France will set a lower deficit goal for 2015 in order to reduce its debt.

Twitter: @brokawbrokaw
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