Skip to main content

Updated from 6:45 a.m. EDT

Premarket futures were forecasting a higher open for stocks on Wall Street Tuesday as traders remained optimistic after the government seized

Fannie Mae

( FNM) and

Freddie Mac

( FRE) over the weekend.

Futures for the

S&P 500

were up 3.5 points at 1271 and were 2.7 points above fair value.


futures were higher by 6.3 points at 1767 and were 3 points ahead of fair value.

On Monday, the major indices finished with solid gains following the government takeover of Fannie and Freddie. The two companies have been at the epicenter of the housing and credit crises, and questions about their solvency had contributed to worries about the entire financial-services industry.

After the market close Monday, a

regulatory filing showed Michael Dell

, CEO of PC maker



, bought $100 million in the company's stock last week.

Ahead of the new day's trading,

Dow Jones Newswires

reported that South Korea Development bank, which had earlier been rumored ready to buy a stake in

Lehman Brothers

( LEH), has ended talks with the struggling brokerage.

Meanwhile, mining company



reported full-year profit rose 32% from a year ago. The company also said it expects continued growth in the year ahead.

Marius Kloppers, CEO of fellow miner

BHP Billiton


, said that slowing global demand for commodities will bring shareholders of

Rio Tinto

( RTP) to support BHP's hostile bid for the company.

Several stocks could be ready to move following analyst actions. Stifel Nicolaus downgraded banking companies

TCF Financial





to hold from buy and to sell from hold, respectively.



also took a hit from Merrill Lynch, which cut the bank to underperform from neutral.

Merrill also took consumer conglomerate

Procter & Gamble


down a peg, to neutral from outperform, saying the stock trades at an unjustified premium.


Pulte Home



KB Home


both got downgraded at Credit Suisse to neutral from outperform.

As for economic data, a read on July pending-home sales, as well as the Census Bureau's look at wholesale inventories, are expected to be released Tuesday morning.

Looking at commodities, the price of crude oil was down $2.12 to $104.22 a barrel. Gold was shedding $5.50 to $797 an ounce.

Prices of longer-dated U.S. Treasury securities were rising slightly. The 10-year was up 4/32 to yield 3.66%, and the 30-year was adding 15/32, yielding 4.24%.

Overseas, European indices, such as London's FTSE and Frankfurt's Dax, were mainly trading higher. In Asia, the Nikkei in Japan and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost ground.