Stock Futures Advance on Signs of Recovery

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stock futures were pointing to a higher open Tuesday as durable-goods orders and a home price gauge rose more than expected, and investors bet on more positive news, including a forecast for a rise in new-home sales.

The increase in the futures market follows the emphases by Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher and Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota that the central bank will gradually rather the abruptly wind-down of the Fed's economic stimulus program.

The global markets Tuesday were also digesting the People's Bank of China's efforts to allay China liquidity fears with a statement saying it will guide market interest rates to reasonable levels.

Futures for the S&P 500 were gaining 12.25 points, or 12.56 points above fair value, to 1,578.5. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were rising 95 points, or 104.44 points above fair value, to 14,683. Futures for the Nasdaq were adding 22 points, or 25.95 points above fair value, to 2,866.

The Census Bureau reported that durable-goods orders increased 3.6% in May after rising by an upwardly-revised 3.6% in April. Durable-goods orders excluding the transportation component rose 0.7% after gaining by an upwardly-revised 1.7%. Economists, on average, were expecting a durable-goods orders increase of 3% in May and predicted an unchanged core orders figure.

The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index showed a stronger than expected gain of 12.1% in April after an increase of 10.9% in March. A rise of 10.6% for April was expected.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency House Price Index also showed a gain, up 0.7% in April after an upwardly-revised increase of 1.5% in March.

Amid the housing market reports, homebuilder Lennar ( LEN) was popping more than 4.5% to $36.58. The company beat fiscal second-quarter earnings estimates by ten cents at 43 cents a share and exceeded sales expectations as well amid an increase in new orders by 27% and rise in home prices.

Delta ( DAL) shares were rising more than 1% to $17.55. Continuing its methodical build-up in New York, Delta said Monday it will code-share with new partner Virgin Atlantic on 108 routes and, most importantly, on nine daily flights between New York airports and London's Heathrow Airport.

Walgreen ( WAG) shares were tumbling more than 6% to $44.99 after the drugstore chain posted fiscal third-quarter earnings of 85 cents a share, missing expectations by six cents, and worse than expected revenue. "Our front-end sales are still not up to our expectations, and while the economy remains challenging, increasing customer traffic and front-end sales are our near-term priorities," said Walgreens CEO Greg Wasson.

Netflix ( NFLX) shares were declining 1.46% to $212.45 after the movie streaming company was cut to "underperform" from "market perform" by Bernstein analysts, who wrote that current valuations of the stock reflect "unrealistic expectations across all major economic and strategic levers of the business."

The Conference Board will publish its consumer confidence report for June at 10 a.m. The index is forecast to slip to 75.4 from 76.2 in May.

Also at 10 a.m. is the Census Bureau's release of new home sales figures for May. A gain to an annual rate of 462,000 from 454,000 in April is expected.

The FTSE 100 in London was up 0.97%, while the DAX in Germany was trading up 1.57%. The Nikkei 225 in Japan closed down 0.72% Tuesday and the Hong Kong Hang Seng finished up 0.21%.

August gold futures were rising $6.30 to $1,283.40 an ounce and August light sweet crude oil futures were tacking on 60 cents to $95.78 a barrel.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was falling 2/32, lifting the yield to 2.549%. The dollar was slipping 0.1% to $82.34 according to the U.S. dollar index .

Written by Andrea Tse in New York

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