By Steve Goldstein, MarketWatch
LONDON (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stock futures were stronger Tuesday after a three-day break, with investors returning to a rally in commodity prices, notably gold.
S&P 500 futures rose 4.4 points to 1,083.50 and Nasdaq 100 futures added 8.25 points to 1,791.50. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 31 points.TODAY'S INTERNATIONAL MARKET STORIES
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U.S. stocks rose last week, with the S&P 500 rising 0.9% to snap a four-period losing run.
Investors are returning to a rally in gold prices -- up some $26 an ounce in electronic trade -- and firmer commodity prices across the board. In euro terms, gold rose to an all-time high of 818 euros an ounce.
The dollar index fell 0.2%. The euro recovered somewhat as European finance ministers demanded fresh budget cuts from Greece if a review of the country's debt-slashing measures doesn't meet approval next month.
The New York Federal Reserve's Empire State Index for February, along with the National Association of Home Builders' housing market index, also for February, will be released Tuesday, as will securities inflows for December.
Earnings also are due from companies including Merck & Co. /quotes/comstock/13*!mrk/quotes/nls/mrk (MRK 36.92, 0.00, 0.00%) , Kraft Foods /quotes/comstock/13*!kft/quotes/nls/kft (KFT 29.09, 0.00, 0.00%) and Qwest Communications /quotes/comstock/13*!q (Q 4.43, 0.00, 0.00%) .
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AMR /quotes/comstock/13*!amr (AMR 8.71, 0.00, 0.00%) may advance as the American Airlines parent received tentative approval for antitrust immunity on transatlantic flights with partners British Airways and Iberia, with the airline only forced to divest four slots at London's Heathrow Airport.
Rigel Pharmaceuticals /quotes/comstock/15*!rigl (RIGL 9.43, 0.00, 0.00%) may advance after reaching a deal to license its rheumatoid arthritis drug to AstraZeneca /quotes/comstock/13*!azn (AZN 43.94, 0.00, 0.00%) for as much as $1.25 billion before royalties.
The pan-European Dow Jones Stoxx 600 rose 0.6%, and strong results from Westpac helped the Australian S&P/ASX 200 rise 0.5%. China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore were closed for Lunar New Year.
Steve Goldstein is MarketWatch's London bureau chief.