NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stock futures were pointing to a higher open as assurances from European leaders regarding Greece's debt situation eased contagion fears. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up by 51 points, or 54 points above fair value, at 12,064. Futures for the S&P 500 were higher by 7 points, or 8 points above fair value, at 1280, and Nasdaq futures were ahead by 10 points, or 9 points above fair value. Stocks strengthened Monday as European leaders assured the market that Greece will enact the budgetary actions needed to avoid default.
European leaders meeting in Luxembourg on Monday said the European Union would work to contain Greece's credit crisis, and Jean-Claude Juncker, prime minister of Luxembourg, expressed his belief that Greece would put through the needed austerity measures to receive its next aid installment. Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou faces a confidence vote in parliament on Tuesday. The country must pass strict austerity measures in order to receive the next installment of its €100 billion bailout package. The FTSE in London was gaining 0.9%, and the DAX in Frankfurt was rising 1%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumped 1.2%, and Japan's Nikkei advanced 1.1%. Members of the Federal Reserve's policy-setting arm are gathering for the first day of a two-day meeting that will conclude in a rate decision statement on Wednesday afternoon. Wall Street is largely expecting that Chairman Ben Bernanke will announce the end of the second round of quantitative easing and that the Federal Open Market Committee will downwardly revise its growth expectations for the year. The Fed's key interest rate is expected to remain untouched at 0.25%. Shares of Walgreen ( WAG) were falling 3.8% to $43.48 during the premarket session after the drugstore chain topped analysts' third-quarter profit estimates by 2 cents and said contract renewal negotiations with pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts ( ESRX) were unsuccessful. Shares of Express Scripts were down 2.8% at $53.25. Airbus said it received a commitment from leasing company CIT Group ( CIT) for 50 of its fuel-efficient A320 aircraft at the Paris Air Show on Tuesday. Boeing ( BA), meanwhile, signed a deal for eight 777-300ER jets worth $2.27 billion with Aeroflot, and a $1.2 billion deal with Norwegian Air Shuttle for 15 Boeing 737-800 planes. Boeing's stock was gaining 0.6% to $75 ahead of Tuesday's opening bell.
Drug company AstraZeneca ( AZN) is
nearing a deal to sell its Swedish health care and dental unit Astra Tech to dental products company Dentsply International ( XRAY) in a deal worth about $1.8 billion. The National Credit Union Association sued the securities divisions of JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) and Royal Bank of Scotland ( RBS) over mortgage-bond sales made to five failed wholesale credit unions. The NCUA claims that the credit unions weren't informed of the true risks of the securities. BP ( BP) said Weatherford International ( WFT) would pay it $75 million to settle potential claims between the companies related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in April 2010. Weatherford's shares were gaining 2.2% to $17.27 in early trading and BP's stock was up 2.7% at $42.96. Australian brewer Foster's rejected a 9.5 million Australian dollar ($10 billion) cash takeover bid from beer company SABMiller because they believe the offer undervalues the company. Economists are anticipating a decline in May existing-home sales at 10 a.m. EDT. May's level is expected to fall to an annual rate of 4.79 million, from 5.05 million in April, according to Briefing.com.
The August crude oil contract was adding $1.18 to trade at $94.81 a barrel. Gold for August delivery was up by $2.50 at $1,544.50 an ounce. The benchmark 10-year Treasury fell 7/32, lifting the yield to 2.983%. The dollar weakened against a basket of currencies, with the dollar index down by 0.3%.
. -- Written by Melinda Peer in New York.