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Morning Market Roundup: Sequester? What Sequester?


Here’s what’s shaking:


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U.S. stock futures are rising even with automatic budget cuts just days away, should a political impasse in Washington not be resolved.

Dow Jones industrial futures are up 62 points to 14,043. The broader S&P futures have added 8.2 points to 1,522.80. Nasdaq futures are up 21.75 points to 2,757.50.

Leaders from both parties sought over the weekend to blame each other for $85 billion in budget cuts that will kick in Friday if no new agreement is reached, threatening everything from the nation's airlines to its schools.

Driving futures higher are strong U.S. corporate earns and buyouts.


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The price of oil rose by more than a dollar Monday, to above $94 a barrel, as it recovered from sharp drops last week and echoed strong gains in European stock markets.

By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark crude for April delivery was up $1.11 to $94.24 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 29 cents to settle at $93.13 in New York on Friday.

Oil dived last week on the possibility that the Federal Reserve might stop offering monetary stimulus, which its most recently released minutes suggested was possible. That would strengthen the dollar, making crude more expensive for international investors, and shut off a supply of money that some say had been fueling speculative trades in commodity markets.

The price of crude stabilized Friday, helped by the European Commission's prediction that the recession afflicting the economy of the 17 countries sharing the euro will bottom out during the first half of the year.


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