Stocks that are expected to trade actively in U.S. markets on Monday include: Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK), Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ:STX) and Loews Corporation (NYSE:L).market news Morning News

 Market Level

U.S.:  DJIA 15570.28 (0.39%), S&P 500 1,759.77 (0.44%), NASDAQ 3,943.36 (0.37%).

Europe: FTSE 6,727.35 (0.09%), DAX 9,001.45 (0.17%), CAC 40 4,266.79 (-0.13%).

Asia Pacific: NIKKEI 14396.04 (2.19%), SHANGHAI 2,133.87 (0.04%), HSI 22806.58(0.48%), ASX 200 5,441.41 (1.02%), KOSPI 2048.14 (0.68%).

Commodities: Oil 97.98 (0.13%), NAT GAS 3.627 (-2.16%), Gold 1,352.50 (0%), Silver 22.655 (0.07%), Wheat 688.75 (-0.29%), Corn 439.50 (-0.11%).

Currency: EUR/USD 1.3812 (0.06%), GBP/USD 1.62 (0.22%), USD/JPY 97.66 (0.26%).

10 year Treasury bond: 2.523 (0.07).

Market & Economic Update

U.S. markets look strong: Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures gained on Monday, signaling a strong opening as the street awaits earnings from big firms including Apple. S&P 500 futures gained 0.3% while Stoxx Europe 600 Index was up 0.1%. Treasuries were almost flat as the government will sell $32 billion of two-year notes today.

European market up: The European FTSE Eurofirst 300 index zoomed 0.2% to 1,287.52 points in early trade session, which was near its 5-year high of 1,291.93 points. The benchmark equity index moved up on Monday, nearing its 5-year peak on the back of strong earnings from corporate. The Eurozone’s blue chip Euro STOVV 50 climbed to 0.2% to 3,040.19 points.

Asian markets also up: Nikkei was up on Monday regaining maximum profits suffered at the end of the last week. The benchmark index gained 2.2% to 14,396.04 points after losing 2.8% to 14,088.19 on Friday. Shares on the Hong Kong exchange gained on Monday after losing for four days, regaining from seven week lows on account of earnings from China’s two largest insurers and China oil field services. The Hang Seng index at the close was up 0.5% to 22,806.6.

Stocks in News

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Apple is expected to post its fourth quarter earnings at $7.93 per share on revenue of $36.84 billion. Shares of the company dropped 1.12% to close at $525.96 on Friday. Andy Hargreaves, an analyst at Pacific Crest, notes that iPhone and iPad will give a stable outlook to Apple’s profit.  They are expecting sales of iPhone to be at 33.6 million units and 12.9 million units of iPad to be sold.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

Merck & Co is estimated to report earnings of $0.88 per share on revenue of $1.12 billion in the third quarter. Shares of Merck lifted 0.69% to close at $46.54 on Friday. The pharmaceutical company has discussed its restructuring plans, under which it plans to reduce its annual operational expenses by approximately $2.5 billion.

Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ:STX)

Seagate Technology Public Limited Company is expected to post first quarter earnings at $1.30 per share on revenue of $3.56 billion. Shares of Seagate rose 2.55% to close at $49.80 on Friday. Seagate has been buying back shares for the past two years, and is looking forward to returning 70% of its FY14 (ends June ’14) operating cash flow to shareholders.

Loews Corporation (NYSE:L)

For the third quarter, Loews Corporation posted a net income of $282 million, or $0.73 per share, against $177 million, or $0.45 per share, in the 2012 third quarter. Net income for the nine months ended September 30, 2013 was recorded at $793 million, or $2.03 per share, compared to $600 million, or$1.51 per share, in the prior year period.