- Pre-Market Indications

Monday, December 20, 2010

Indications: U.S. stock futures to start holiday week up

Stock Assault 2.0 - Artificial Intelligence Stock Market Software

By Kate Gibson and Polya Lesova, MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) â€" U.S. stock futures climbed Monday, tracking gains in European stocks, as investors looked to extend a three-week rally into this holiday-shortened week.

Solid fourth-quarter results should propel equities higher despite their short-term overbought condition, projected one analyst, who said he believes the bull market is likely to continue its run through January.

“We are overbought, no question. But it is earnings that move markets, and to that end, we have more fuel for Santa’s sleigh,” wrote Marc Pado, U.S. market strategist at Cantor Fitzgerald.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average /quotes/comstock/21b!f:dj\h11 (DJH11 11,468, +38.00, +0.33%)  gained 34 points to 11,464, and S&P 500 futures /quotes/comstock/21m!f:sp\h11 (SPH11 1,243, +4.90, +0.40%)  advanced 4.7 points to 1,243.1.

Nasdaq 100 futures /quotes/comstock/21m!f:nd\h11 (NDH11 2,223, +9.25, +0.42%)  rose 9.75 points to 2,222.92.

Travel chaos across Europe

Snow wreaks havoc on travelers across Western Europe on Sunday with thousands of flights canceled. Video courtesy of Reuters.

The blue-chip Dow index /quotes/comstock/10w!i:dji/delayed (DJIA 11,492, -7.34, -0.06%)  rose 0.7% last week, finishing with gains for three consecutive weeks.

Asian stocks finished mostly lower overnight, with Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average slipping 0.9%.

South Korea’s Kospi index fell 0.3%, as tensions on the Korean peninsula returned to the spotlight.

On Monday, South Korea conducted an artillery drill using live fire on Yeonpyeong island, according to media reports.

In Europe, equity markets posted gains, with the Stoxx Europe 600 index /quotes/comstock/22c!sxxp (ST:STOXX600 279.05, +2.63, +0.95%)  advancing 0.9% in intraday trade.

Airline shares, however, came under selling pressure as severe winter weather disrupted hundreds of flights across Europe. Shares of British Airways PLC /quotes/comstock/23s!a:bay (UK:BAY 268.30, -1.90, -0.70%) fell in London.

In the retail sector, eBay Inc. /quotes/comstock/15*!ebay/quotes/nls/ebay (EBAY 29.82, -0.71, -2.33%)  said it will acquire brands4friends, the Berlin online shopping club, for $200 million. In a statement Monday, eBay said the deal would strengthen its position as an online fashion provider in Europe. Inc. /quotes/comstock/15*!amzn/quotes/nls/amzn (AMZN 177.58, -0.46, -0.26%) shares were affirmed at overweight by Barclays Capital, which raised its price target on the stock to $195 from $180.

After the U.S. stock market close, design-software maker Adobe Systems Inc. /quotes/comstock/15*!adbe/quotes/nls/adbe (ADBE 28.79, +0.27, +0.95%)  will release fiscal fourth-quarter results.

In the commodity markets, oil futures gained 47 cents to $88.49 a barrel in electronic trading on Globex. Gold futures rose $7.6 to $1,386.8 an ounce.

The dollar index /quotes/comstock/11j!i:dxy0 (DXY 80.42, +0.05, +0.06%) , which tracks the performance of the greenback against a basket of other major currencies, was at 80.381.

Kate Gibson is a reporter for MarketWatch, based in New York. Polya Lesova is chief of MarketWatch’s London bureau.

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