Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks appear headed for a slightly higher opening Monday on a new round of corporate deals.

Pfizer, the world's largest drugmaker, said it would it sell its Capsugel unit to an affiliate of private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts for $2.38 billion in cash. Capsugel makes capsules for oral medicines and dietary supplements. Pfizer shares rose 1 percent in pre-market trading.

Overseas, Belgian plastics and chemicals company Solvay said it offered to buy Paris-based chemicals maker Rhodia for $4.84 billion. Vivendi said it agreed to acquire Vodafone Group's 44 percent stake in French mobile operator SFR for $11.3 billion.

Ahead of the opening, Dow Jones industrial futures are up 18, or 0.2 percent, at 12,336.

Standard & Poor's 500 futures are up 3, or 0.2 percent, at 1,330. Nasdaq 100 futures are up 10, or 0.4 percent, at 2,348.

Bond prices are flat. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was unchanged at 3.45 percent from late Friday.

In corporate news, Southwest Airlines Co. fell 5 percent ahead of the opening as the company continued to inspect its planes after the fuselage of one jet ripped open Friday, forcing it to make an emergency landing. Southwest has grounded 79 planes following the incident, and it canceled around 700 flights over the weekend.

Ford Motor Co. rose 2 percent in pre-market trading. The company said on Friday that its sales rose 16 percent in March, in part, because of the success of its new Explorer crossover vehicle.

No major economic reports are expected Monday. Later in the week, investors will get updates on retail sales, activity at service-oriented companies and inventories at the wholesale level.

KB Home, Monsanto Co. and Constellation Brands Inc. are all set to release their earnings results throughout the week.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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