Stock Futures Rise Amid China Stimulus Hopes


NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stock futures were pointing to a higher open on Wall Street Tuesday as investors returned from the long Memorial Day weekend to hopes of Chinese stimulus.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 80 points, or 69.2 points above fair value, at 12,509. Futures for the S&P 500 were up 8.5 points, or 7.3 points above fair value, at 1324. Futures for the Nasdaq were rising 18.8 points, or 17.1 points above fair value, at 2543.

Stocks closed on a weak note Friday, as investors remained concerned about the mounting eurozone crisis heading into the holiday weekend. Markets were closed Monday in the U.S. for Memorial Day.

But global stocks advanced Tuesday on signs of Chinese monetary easing.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong settled up 1.4% and Japan's Nikkei closed up 0.7% after reports that China's top planning agency has given the green light for construction of a number of new steel plants.

Commodities also got a lift with the July crude oil futures up 38 cents at $91.24 a barrel and the June gold contract rising $4.30 to $1,573.20 an ounce.

In Europe, political parties supporting austerity measures mandated by the European Union were shown to be receiving growing support in Greek opinion polls, with one of the pro-bailout parties coming in at the top in six polls published over the weekend.

London's FTSE was wavering, and the DAX in Germany was rising 0.6%.

In U.S. economic news, the S&P Case/Shiller Home Price Index of 20 cities for March fell 2.6% from a year ago, as expected by economists surveyed by Reuters, after a 3.5% decline in February.

The Conference Board releases its read on the consumer confidence for May at 10 a.m. ET Economists expect a reading of 70. April's number came in at 69.2.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was up 8/32, lowering the yield to 1.718% and the greenback was down 0.2%, according to the dollar index.


In corporate news, Facebook ( FB) is reportedly in talks to buy Opera Software, a Norwegian maker of Internet browsers, for a potential price tag of more than $1 billion.

JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) has sold about $25 billion of profitable securities to try to offset losses related to its massive derivatives trading loss.

Patriot Coal ( PCX) named Irl Engelhardt as the company's new CEO, replacing Richard Whiting who has been CEO and president since 2007. Bennett Hatfield was named new president in addition to his current role as chief operating officer.

Sanderson Farms ( SAFM), the chicken processor, reported second-quarter net income of $23.9 million, or $1.04 a share, on net sales of $595 million. Analysts were expecting the company to post profit of 95 cents a share on revenue of $591.25 million.

-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.

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

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