NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stock futures were rising Friday after major U.S. indices touched multi-year highs during the prior session and as Procter & Gamble (PG) shares popped after an upbeat earnings forecast.
Business confidence in Germany improved for a third month in January, according to the Ifo think tank's business climate index, which jumped to 104.2 from 102.4 in December.
Market sentiment also got a boost as the European Central Bank said Friday that 278 banks in the eurozone indicated that they will repay, early, €137.2 billion in three-year loans, issued a little over a year ago.
The amount was larger than expected and pointed to easing financial conditions in the region, and as Marty Mitchell, a head trader at Stifel Nicolaus said, suggested "more stability in Europe and the potential for an improved risk appetite in markets."The consensus expectation was for the return of #8364;100 billion of the first round of the central bank's cheap loans, or LTROs (long-term refinancing operations), according to a Reuters survey. The news helped fuel a rally in European bank stocks and a fall in German government bond prices. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were rising 41 points, or 59.67 points above fair value, at 13,822. Futures for the S&P 500 were up 4.75 points, or 6.93 points above fair value, at 1496. Futures for the Nasdaq were up 11.75 points, or 13.07 points above fair value, at 2730. Procter & Gamble shares were gaining close to 2% in premarket trading after the company on Friday said it increased its core earnings per share guidance for the year to $3.97 to $4.07 amid "strong productivity improvement and resulting cost savings." The company also increased its outlook for share repurchases to $5 billion to $6 billion. P&G recorded fiscal second-quarter earnings of $1.22 a share on revenue of $22.2 billion, topping the average analyst estimate of $1.11 a share on revenue of $21.91 billion. On Thursday, the S&P 500 managed to breach the psychologically significant 1500 mark a number of times during the day. Doreen Mogavero, founder of Mogavero Lee & Co., said that "1500 was the target and
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