MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Indications: U.S. stock futures rise after steep selloff

Stock Assault 2.0 - Artificial Intelligence Stock Market Software

By Kate Gibson and Polya Lesova, MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) â€" U.S. stock futures rose Wednesday as Wall Street eyed a rebound from the market’s sharpest decline in three months as well as ongoing unrest in oil-rich Libya.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average /quotes/comstock/21b!f:dj\h11 (DJH11 12,103, -80.00, -0.66%)  gained 21 points to 12,204, and futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 index /quotes/comstock/21m!f:sp\h11 (SPH11 1,305, -9.90, -0.75%)  advanced 1.6 points to 1,316.

Nasdaq 100 futures /quotes/comstock/21m!f:nd\h11 (NDH11 2,305, -16.75, -0.72%)  climbed 7 points to 2,328.75.

Oil won't derail stocks

Companies have gotten more accustomed to oil volatility, according to David Ranson at Wainwright Economics. But stock investors have other worries. Laura Mandaro reports.

On Tuesday, the blue-chip Dow index /quotes/comstock/10w!i:dji/delayed (DJIA 12,128, -84.88, -0.70%)  tumbled 178.46 points, or 1.4%, its biggest drop since Nov. 16, as unrest in Libya and other countries in North Africa and the Mideast spooked investors.

Oil prices soared on concerns that the turmoil in Libya would disrupt crude supplies from the North African nation.

“The current concerns about the situation in Libya should be as much about whether it eventually escalates further through the region,” Deutsche Bank strategists wrote in a note.

In premarket trading, shares of Hewlett-Packard Co. /quotes/comstock/13*!hpq/quotes/nls/hpq (HPQ 43.55, -4.68, -9.71%)  slumped as much as 11% after the technology giant gave a disappointing forecast late Tuesday. Read more about H-P.

Shares of Garmin Ltd. /quotes/comstock/15*!grmn/quotes/nls/grmn (GRMN 32.30, +0.16, +0.50%)  fell 6% in premarket trade after the company reported a decline in fourth-quarter profit.

Apple Inc. /quotes/comstock/15*!aapl/quotes/nls/aapl (AAPL 343.22, +4.61, +1.36%)  will also be in focus Wednesday, as the iPad and iPhone maker is scheduled to hold its annual shareholders’ meeting. Read more about what’s expected from Apple’s meeting.

In deal news, Enterprise Products Partners L.P. /quotes/comstock/13*!epd/quotes/nls/epd (EPD 42.64, -1.06, -2.43%)  said it has offered to acquire Duncan Energy Partners L.P. /quotes/comstock/13*!dep/quotes/nls/dep (DEP 39.95, +7.39, +22.70%) .

At 10 a.m. Eastern, data on existing-home sales for January will be released.

Most Asian stock markets finished lower Wednesday, with Japan’s Nikkei Stock average dropping 0.8%. Read more on Asia Markets.

European shares also declined, with the Stoxx Europe 600 index /quotes/comstock/22c!sxxp (ST:STOXX600 282.38, -3.00, -1.05%)  falling 0.2% in intraday trading. Read more on Europe Markets.

In the commodity markets, crude prices continued to rise. Brent crude gained $2.45 to $108.23 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange. Crude oil for April delivery rose 80 cents to $96.22 a barrel in electronic trading on Globex.

Gold futures gained $3 to $1,404.10 an ounce.

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

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