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Stock Futures Climb on Eurozone Surprise


NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were jumping Friday as the global markets cheered concrete steps leaders were taking at the European Union summit to ease the region's debt crisis.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were surging 184 points, or 181.74 points above fair value, at 12,710. Futures for the S&P 500 were up by 24.7 points, or 24.21 points above fair value, at 1347. Futures for the Nasdaq 100 were popping 47 points, or 44.45 points above fair value, at 2575.

Stocks battled back to close with mild losses on Thursday as strength in the consumer cyclicals, energy and utilities sectors offset weakness in the financials and technology.

All three major U.S. equity indices were down more than 1% at their lows of the session but buyers arrived in the final hour of what was a busy news day that featured a report that JPMorgan Chase's (JPM) infamous trading loss on credit derivatives could climb as high as $9 billion, the Supreme Court's decision to uphold President Obama's sweeping health care legislation, and the start of the two-day meeting of Europe's leaders in Brussels.

The leaders agreed overnight to take action to reduce Italy and Spain's borrowing costs and relax rules on tapping into bailout funds to boost the troubled Spanish banking system. They also revealed a $149 billion economic growth plan for the eurozone.

"Several things did occur which are worth not dismissing outright," said Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist at BTIG. But "as we have long said that the only 'real' means by which to end this crisis certainly involves a euro TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) style program; we are yet again a bit disappointed."

Jeffrey Sica, manager of SICA Wealth Management, said right now he maintains short positions in most U.S. equity indices on concerns of declines in stocks attributable to the interdependence between U.S. and European banks. However, "we will avoid increases in short positions on the U.S. equity market due to the likelihood that our central bank will use the promise of more liquidity to stabilize stock prices."

The FTSE in London was rising 1.28% and the DAX in Germany was gaining 2.1%. The Hong Kong Hang Seng index settled ahead by 2.19% and the Nikkei in Japan closed up 1.5%.

The U.S. Commerce Department reported Friday that personal income rose 0.2% in May, as expected by economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters, and matching April's tiny rise. Spending was essentially unchanged, also as expected, after a downwardly revised increase of 0.1% for April.

The personal saving rate was 3.9% in May, compared with 3.7% in April.

David Ader, a bond strategist with CRT, said that the flat read in spending for May and the downward revision for April points to a soft start to the quarter and will drive down GDP forecasts toward the mid-1% handles.

"Note, too, the rise in the savings rate even as disposable income gains, suggesting that lower gas prices are not generating spending confidence," he said.

Other economic reports to be released Friday include the Chicago purchasing managers index for June at 9:45 a.m. and the final University of Michigan consumer sentiment read at 9:55 a.m.

A Goldman Sachs report said qualitative comments show that, compared to last month, more industries are reporting a slowdown in activity and or a cautious outlook; on the other hand, comments generally indicate a gradual slowdown as opposed to outright contraction.

"Unsurprisingly, the European crisis and the upcoming U.S. 'fiscal cliff' remain the key risks across sectors, weighing on business outlook and sentiment," the report said. "The housing market remains the one bright spot in the economy, as our homebuilders team continues to report positive trends, consistent with broad increases in recent home sales and house price reports."

August crude oil futures were rising $2.08 to $79.77 a barrel. August gold futures were spiking $19 to $1,569 an ounce.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was shedding 17/32, raising the yield to 1.643%, while the dollar was behind by 0.9%, according to the dollar index.

Research In Motion (RIMM) disappointed Wall Street Thursday with its fiscal first-quarter results.

The BlackBerry maker reported a much wider-than-anticipated loss , pushed back the launch of the BlackBerry 10 until the first calendar quarter of 2013 and announced plans to lay off 5,000 employees, roughly 30% of its work force.

Shares of Research in Motion fell 15.12% in premarket trading Friday to $7.72.

Nike (NKE - Get Report) posted fiscal fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday that missed analysts' expectations.

The sneaker maker reported a profit of $549 million, or $1.17 a share, on revenue of $6.47 billion for the three months ended in May; analysts were expecting earnings of $1.37 a share on revenue of $6.51 billion.

The company attributed the year-over-year decline in earnings to lower gross margin, higher SG&A spending, a higher effective tax rate and costs related to restructuring operations in western Europe.

Shares of Nike fell 11.56% in premarket trading Friday to $85.69.

Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD), the world's largest brewer, confirmed Friday that it would buy the rest of Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo that it doesn't already own for $20.1 billion.

Meanwhile, Constellation Brands (STZ) said it would buy the remaining 50% of Crown Imports that it doesn't already own from Anheuser-Busch for $1.85 billion following Anheuser-Busch's deal to buy Modelo.

Constellation and Modelo owned Crown as a joint venture.

Constellation Brands' stock was climbing 4.46% in premarket trading Friday to $22.73.


-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.

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

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