Stock Futures Hint at Higher Open

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures pointed to a marginally higher open on Wednesday -- a day that's expected to be light on trading with no economic news scheduled for the session.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up by 11 points, or 8 points above fair value, at 11,520. Futures for the S&P 500 were 1 point higher, or a little more than 1 points above fair value, at 1255, and Nasdaq futures were ahead by 5 points, or nearly 5 points above fair value.

Stocks saw a mixed close to Tuesday's session as disappointing consumer and housing data kept gains in check.

On Wednesday, China's Commerce Ministry said it will cut exports of rare earth minerals by 10% during the first half of 2011, allocating 14,446 tons of rare earths among 31 companies. According to an AP report, China accounts for 97% of the global production of rare earths and minerals that are particularly needed by technology companies.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 1.5%, and Japan's Nikkei added 0.5%. The FTSE in London was down by 0.3%, while the DAX in Frankfurt was ahead by 0.5%.

There are no economic releases scheduled for Wednesday's session.

SAP ( SAP) has been ordered to pay interest on the $1.3 billion in damages that it owes to Oracle ( ORCL).

Shares of Dara BioSciences ( DARA) were down 8.4% to $2.85 in early trading after the company said it began a registered direct offering to sell up to $4 million worth of units , representing a marked dilution to existing shareholders.

In commodity markets, the February crude oil contract traded 62 cents lower to $90.87 a barrel. The February gold contract was down by 80 cents at $1,404.80 an ounce.

The dollar weakened against a basket of currencies with the dollar index down by 0.2%. The benchmark 10-year Treasury note strengthened 10/32, diluting the yield to 3.454%.


--Written by Melinda Peer in New York.
Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.