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Updated from 6:48 a.m. EST

Premarket futures had earlier been forecasting a downbeat open for Wall Street Tuesday but lately were reflecting a more optimistic view, after the

Federal Reserve

announced a $600 billion program to aid government-backed mortgage firms and a $200 billion program to aid consumers hurt by the credit crisis.

Futures for the

S&P 500

were adding 21 points at 869 and were trading 19 points above fair value.


futures were higher by 24 points at 1171, 16 points ahead of fair value.

Futures had earlier suggested that investors would be taking profits from the previous two sessions' impressive gains. However, following the Fed's announcement that it would buy direct obligations and mortgage-backed securities tied to the Federal Home Loan Banks and

Fannie Mae



Freddie Mac



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Ginnie Mae

, premarket trading took a more bullish tone.

The Fed also announced the creation of a $200 billion facility for holders of triple-A rated asset-backed securities tied to loans related to education, autos, credit cards and small businesses.

On Monday, stocks rallied sharply on news of a government bailout for


(C) - Get Citigroup Inc. Report

, whose subprime exposure and off-balance-sheet assets had left investors uncertain about its future. The government's guarantee of more than $300 billion in Citi debt and $20 billion equity investment in the firm sent the company's shares, along with the major indices, rocketing higher.

Ahead of the new day's trading, other financial firms were looking to get government help of a different sort.

Goldman Sachs

(GS) - Get Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (The) Report

garnered strong interest in a government-backed issuance of $2 billion to $3 billion in bonds, according to a report by

The Wall Street Journal

. The sale is expected to conclude Tuesday, and Citi and

General Electric

(GE) - Get General Electric Company Report

are expected to stage similar government-assisted bond sales.

In earnings news, computer systems maker and

Dow Jones Industrial Average



(HPQ) - Get HP Inc. Report

delivered earnings that beat estimates on the top line but saw profit decline slightly year over year.

Mining concern

BHP Billiton

(BHP) - Get BHP Group Limited American Depositary Shares (Each representing two) Report

dropped a hostile takeover bid for

Rio Tinto

(RTP) - Get Reinvent Technology Partners Class A Report

on a sharp decline in commodity prices and tough credit conditions.

The day's economic data, however, was less than rosy. The Bureau of Economic Analysis revised its read of the third-quarter decline in GDP to 0.5% from 0.3%. The Conference Board's November consumer confidence survey is due out a bit later today.

Moving on to commodities, crude oil was losing $1.06 to $53.44 a barrel. Gold was climbing $9.10 to $829.50 an ounce.

Longer-dated U.S. Treasury securities were rising in price. The 10-year was up 1-12/32, yielding 3.17%. The 30-year was gaining 2-28/32 to yield 3.63%. The dollar was falling vs. its major foreign competitors.

Overseas, European exchanges were rising, as the FTSE in London and the Dax in Frankfurt were edging higher. Asian markets, including Japan's Nikkei and Hong Kong's Hang Seng, finished on the upside.