MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Indications: U.S. stock futures revived by earnings

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By Kate Gibson and Polya Lesova, MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) â€" U.S. stock futures rebounded Tuesday on earnings-related optimism and after Japan joined China in saying it plans to buy bonds issued by Europe’s financial-aid fund.

“Japan is approaching this indirectly and is certainly not doing this out of the goodness of their heart. They are more attracted to the AAA rating of the European Financial Stability Facility that will be the financing vehicle right now for Ireland and likely soon Portugal,” wrote Peter Boockvar, equity strategist at Miller Tabak.

Recovering after a three-session losing streak, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average /quotes/comstock/21b!f:dj\h11 (DJH11 11,655, +68.00, +0.59%)  rose 54 points to 11,641, and S&P 500 futures /quotes/comstock/21m!f:sp\h11 (SPH11 1,273, +7.00, +0.55%)  gained 6.1 points to 1,271.6.

Nasdaq 100 futures /quotes/comstock/21m!f:nd\h11 (NDH11 2,288, +5.50, +0.24%)  advanced 11 points to 2,293.5.

On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average /quotes/comstock/10w!i:dji/delayed (DJIA 11,690, +52.48, +0.45%)  fell 0.3% to its lowest level so far this year.

Big hopes for big stocks

After years of trailing their small and midsize brethren, the stocks of large companies look relatively inexpensive and ready to race ahead.

Aluminum giant and Dow component Alcoa Corp. /quotes/comstock/13*!aa/quotes/nls/aa (AA 16.28, -0.21, -1.28%) offered a bright forecast late Monday and reported fourth-quarter earnings that topped Wall Street’s expectations. See more about Alcoa’s results.

Separately, retailers Sears Holdings Corp. /quotes/comstock/15*!shld/quotes/nls/shld (SHLD 75.25, +4.65, +6.59%)   and Tiffany & Co. /quotes/comstock/13*!tif/quotes/nls/tif (TIF 60.36, -0.58, -0.95%)   both projected that earnings would beat analysts’ forecasts.

Shares of Advanced Micro Devices Inc. /quotes/comstock/13*!amd/quotes/nls/amd (AMD 8.50, -0.69, -7.52%)  retreated in the premarket after the chip maker late Monday said that its chief executive has resigned, taking the industry by surprise. Read more about the move at AMD.

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European equities posted gains Tuesday, helped by Japan’s announcement that it will buy debt issued by the European Financial Stability Facility.

The news eased near-term concerns over the euro-zone debt crisis, though Portugal faces a key test Wednesday when it will hold a government bond auction.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index /quotes/comstock/22c!sxxp (ST:STOXX600 282.00, +3.52, +1.26%)  gained 1.1% in intraday trading and Portugal’s PSI 20 advanced 1.7%. Read more about Europe Markets.

In Asia, most markets ended higher, with the Hang Seng index /quotes/comstock/08s!i:hsi (HK:HANGSENG 23,760, +233.08, +0.99%)  in Hong Kong rising 1%. Read more about Asia Markets.

In the commodity markets, crude-oil futures gained 61 cents to $89.86 a barrel in electronic trading on Globex. Gold futures rose $11.10 to $1,385.20 an ounce.

The dollar index /quotes/comstock/11j!i:dxy0 (DXY 80.81, -0.07, -0.08%) , used by IntercontinentalExchange Inc. to track the U.S. currency against those of half a dozen trading partners, stood little changed at 80.811. See more on currencies.

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

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