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TheStreet Open House

Stock Futures Advance After $170B Greek Rescue

Stock quotes in this article: ^DJI, ^GSPC, ^IXIC


NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were climbing Tuesday as investors cheered a second bailout package for Greece but began focusing on the worrying economic state of the country and the debt risks other eurozone nations continue to face.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were adding 32 points, or 34.1 points above fair value, at 12,961. Futures for the S&P 500 were up 2.4 points, or 3 points above fair value, at 1362. Futures for the Nasdaq were rising 2.3 points, or 0.4 points above fair value, at 2584.

Stocks closed mixed Friday as investors showed caution heading into the long holiday weekend with the fate of a second bailout for Greece still uncertain.

Over the extended President's Day weekend in the U.S., European finance ministers were scrambling to consolidate a debt rescue plan needed to prevent Greece from defaulting on more than €14 billion in bond redemptions due on March 20. Although the €130 billion ($173 billion) package was finalized after more than 13 hours of talks in Brussels, concerns remained about the support for the plan. The package requires that the majority of private sector investors of Greek debt accept more than a 53% write-down on the value of their holdings, which would cut down the country's debt by roughly €100 billion. The deal also relies on the amount of contributions that the International Monetary Fund is willing to provide.

As part of the deal, Greece has to carry out steep budget cuts that would slash its debt to 121% of its gross domestic product by 2020, which could create more strain on an economy that's already in its fifth year of recession and facing the risk of social uprising ahead of its upcoming April elections. Debt right now is at 160% of GDP.

The European Central Bank and national central banks will have to relinquish any income they may and will have earned on Greek bonds, which would reduce Greek debt by almost two percentage points by 2020.

"Based on the action of global markets, it appears a bit of 'sell the news' is in order, but risk assets have experienced quite the rally over the last several weeks," said Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist of BTIG. "More importantly though, we once again note that while some may be inclined to cheer this agreement, a debt level equivalent to 120% of your GDP is anything but something to be cheered."

Germany's DAX was falling 0.4% while London's FTSE was down 0.8%. Japan's Nikkei Average closed lower by 0.23% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed up 0.25%.

In corporate news, Wal-Mart (WMT), the world's largest retailer, missed analyst expectations in the fourth quarter as lower prices cut into margins. The retailer posted net income for the quarter ending Jan. 31 of $1.50 a share, 15% lower than the period a year earlier. Profit, excluding some items, came in at $1.44, slightly off the forecast for $1.45 a share. Revenue grew to $122.28 billion, also off the forecast of $124.21 billion. Shares were dropping 2.7% to $62.48 before the opening bell Tuesday.

Goldman Sachs (GS) shares were down 0.4% at $115.50 after Fortune reported, citing anonymous sources, that chief executive officer Lloyd Blankfein may step down from the firm as early as this summer and would likely be replaced by chief operating officer Gary Cohn. The board wishes to see more changes at the top as the firm tries to restore its once spotless reputation following widespread accusations of its fraudulent sale of mortgage-linked securities.

Home-improvement giant Home Depot (HD) beat estimates, helped by a rise in residential spending due to warmer weather. The company reported 50 cents a share in net income on revenue of $16 billion. Analysts forecast 42 cents a share in the fiscal fourth quarter on sales of $15.5 billion. Shares were rising 3.3% to $46.71 in premarket trading.

Kraft Foods (KFT) reported fourth quarter net income of 47 cents a share and earnings, excluding items, of 57 cents a share, on revenue of $14.7 billion. Results slightly were in line with analysts' estimates of 57 cents a share on revenue of $14.79 billion. The stock were slipping 0.6% to $38.01.

Medco Health Solutions (MHS) handily beat estimates with a 12% jump in fourth quarter profit to $1.08 a share, or $424.4 million, on net revenue of $19 billion. Analysts were looking for $1.17 a share on revenue of $17.45 billion.

Wynn Resorts (WYNN) shareholder Kazuo Okada will fight the casino company's decision to forcibly buy out his stake in the company. Okada will "take all legal actions necessary to protect its investment and prevent" Wynn from cutting ties with him, said a statement from Okada's Universal Entertainment Corp., The Associated Press reported. Okada is Wynn's biggest shareholder. On Sunday, Wynn Resorts said an investigation found that he had made improper payments to foreign gaming regulators.

April oil futures were rising $1.57 to $105.17 a barrel. In other commodities, April gold futures were adding $22.50 to $1,748.40 an ounce.

The dollar index was flat at $79.11. The benchmark 10-year Treasury was sliding 7/32, raising the yield to 2.03%.

There are no major economic reports scheduled for Tuesday.

-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.



>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Andrea Tse.

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Copyright 2011 TheStreet.com Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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