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Futures Climb on Eurozone Optimism

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures pointed to a stronger open after European leaders pledged to introduce a plan to shore up the financial system.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 127 points, or 153 points above fair value, at 11,204. Futures for the S&P 500 were up 14 points, or 19 points above fair value, at 1169, and Nasdaq futures were rising 29 points, or 32 points above fair value, at 2231.

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Over the weekend, French and German leaders pledged to announce a "comprehensive package" in three weeks to recapitalize banks and to keep Greece in the eurozone. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that policy makers will do "everything necessary" to provide enough capital to banks to stem a debt crisis.

Investors had already speculated last week that officials were talking about ways to inject capital into eurozone lenders. Comments from Merkel and and French President Nicolas Sarkozy gave reassurance that such a plan would be unveiled.

Earlier Monday, Belgian and French lender Dexia agreed to sell its Belgian unit to the Belgian government for 4 billion euros, giving further clarity on the lender's future as well as setting a precedent for other eurozone governments to shore up their own banks.

The yen and dollar fell, while the euro was gaining. The dollar index, a measure of the dollar's value against a basket of currencies, was losing 1.19%.

London's FTSE was rising 0.98% while Germany's DAX was up 0.42%. Japan's Nikkei Average rose 0.98%, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed up 0.02%.

Tuesday marks the start of third-quarter earnings season, kicking off with Alcoa (AA) reporting after tomorrow's close. The largest U.S. aluminum producer has been hit by a decline in aluminum prices and is expected to report downbeat earnings of 22 cents per share according to ThomsonOne Analytics.

"We want to hear what companies have to say about the global landscape," says Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial. "When there's an ongoing slowdown, expect to see some misses," she adds, noting that banks and industrials are expected to bear the brunt of the economic pressures this season.

Dan Greenhaus, market strategist at BTIG, wrote in a research note that clients appear "cautiously optimistic" about corporate earnings although the good news is that there has been a "dearth of negative preannouncements."

In the U.S., stock markets are open but bond markets are closed for the Columbus Day holiday. Superior Energy Services (SPN), the oilfield services company, agreed to buy peer Complete Production Services (CPX) in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $2.7 billion. Shares of Superior Energy were falling 9% to $24.94 in premarket trading while Complete Production shares were surging 50.1% to $30.60.

Jerry Yang, Yahoo!'s (YHOO) co-founder and former CEO, is interested in a deal with private-equity firms that would take the Internet company private, Reuters reported, citing people familiar with the situation. Yahoo! shares rose 4.3% to $16.14.

Netflix (NFLX) abandoned its plans to split off the company and rename its DVD business "Qwikster." The company said it plans to keep its DVD-by mail and its streaming services under the Netflix umbrella. Shares were dropping 4.9% to $117.21 in pre market trading.

Last week, the credit downgrade of Italy and Spain by Fitch Ratings sent U.S. equities lower by the close Friday, although all major averages still posted gains for the week. Disagreement between Belgium's federal government and regional groups as to whether the country should nationalize Dexia's Belgian unit had exacerbated fears that the eurozone debt crisis not was improving.

A better-than-expected September jobs report tempered sentiment, although economists were still disappointed that the recovery in the U.S. jobs market remained too anemic to bring down the unemployment rate. The choppy week of trading finished with blue-chips posting close to a 2% gain.

Gold for December delivery was gaining $32.80 to trade at $1669 an ounce. In other commodities, the November crude oil contract was edging up $1.66 to trade at $84.64 a barrel.

As of last Friday, the benchmark 10-year Treasury was last at 23/32, pushing the yield to 2.068%.

-- Written by Chao Deng in New York.

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