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TheStreet Open House

Dow Poised to Pass All-Time High

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stock futures were pointing to a higher open on Wall Street Tuesday, looking to extend the prior session's gains and tracking advances in overseas markets.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were rising 44 points, or 49.18 points above fair value, at 14,160. Futures for the S&P 500 were up 5.5 points, or 7.45 points above fair value, at 1531.25. Futures for the Nasdaq were higher by 13.25 points, or 14.37 points above fair value, at 2773.25.

The ISM non-manufacturing index is scheduled to be released at 10 a.m. EST and is expected to show a rise to 55 in February from 55.2 in January.

"The gradual upward trend in the ISM non-manufacturing index since the summer of last year probably continued in February," said Amna Asaf, an economist at Capital Economics, in a note. "But businesses remain cautious about the outlook and the effect of higher payroll taxes."

Richmond Federal Reserve Bank President Jeffrey Lacker speaks at the National Association of Business Economics annual conference in Washington at 2 p.m.

Major U.S. stock averages rose Monday as confidence about continued stimulus support from global central banks offset worries surrounding the Chinese government's five-point plan to curb rising home prices and U.S. budget impasse. The Dow finished at 14,127.82, inching closer to its all-time high of 14,164.53.

"It's a mistake to fight the tape, and those of us who do, and certainly I've been guilty of that, more times than not of late ... and therefore the surprise about how well the market does," Ted Weisberg, president of Seaport Securities, told TheStreet late Monday.

TD Ameritrade's Investor Movement Index is showing a score of 5.14 for the four weeks ending Feb. 22, up from 4.71 in January, a high score relative to historical ranges and indicative a positive, one-month trend.

In looking at the index, Steve Quirk, senior vice president of TD Ameritrade's Trader Group, said that "retail investors remain bullish in February following a seven month trend, rotating out of higher performing stocks, choosing instead to buy stocks that have recently underperformed. This is the highest IMX score seen among our retail investors since June 2011."

The FTSE 100 in London was rising 0.89% and the DAX in Germany was ahead by 1.77% as eurozone finance ministers agreed to a bailout for Cyprus by the end of March, though details of how to arrive at a rescue package had not yet been worked out.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index closed up by 0.1%, while the Nikkei Average in Japan rose 0.27% as China's outgoing premier Wen Jiabao told parliament that the country's growth target would remain at 7.5% for 2013.

Gold for April delivery was gaining $9.10 to $1,581.50 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, while April crude oil futures were increasing 22 cents to $90.34 a barrel.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was off 6/32, bringing the yield up to 1.901%. The dollar was down 0.14%, according to the U.S. dollar index.

In corporate news, Citigroup (C) CEO Michael Corbat makes his first presentation Tuesday since taking over the bank in October. Shares were up 0.65% in premarket trading.

Shares of iPhone maker Apple (AAPL) lost 2.4% Monday to finish at $420.05; the stock hit a 52-week low of $419 during the trading session. Apple's 52-week high is $705.07. Shares were up 0.53% in premarket trading Tuesday.

DoubleLine Capital CEO Jeffrey Gundlach predicted in November that the stock would close below $425.

Vornado Realty Trust (VNO) was selling 10 million shares of J.C. Penney (JCP) in an unregistered secondary transaction, according to a person familiar with the sale, The Wall Street Journal reported. J.C. Penney shares were falling nearly 3%.

Checkpoint Systems (CKP) posted fourth-quarter earnings of 9 cents a share on revenue of $200.2 million, below expectations of earnings of 17 cents a share on sales of $207.3 million.

VeriFone Systems (PAY) is predicted by analysts to post fiscal first-quarter earnings of 49 cents a share on revenue of $431.5 million. Shares were trading sideways.

Impax Laboratories ( IPXL) said regulators have brought up new concerns about manufacturing practices at the company's plant in Hayward, Calif. Shares were plunging more than 20%.

Qualcomm ( QCOM) shares were popping more than 2% after its board approved a 40% increase in the company's quarterly cash dividend and a new $5 billion stock repurchase program.

Gardner Denver ( GDI) shares were rising more than 1.5%. The industrial machinery maker is close to selling itself to private-equity firm KKR for more than $75 a share, Reuters reports.

-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York

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

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