U.S. stock futures pointed higher despite Standard & Poor’s move to put the rating of nearly the entire euro-zone on warning for a possible downgrade if the euro zones finance ministers fail to reach an agreed upon plan to stem the sovereign debt crisis in Europe.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 40 points to 12,106, S&P 500 futures gained 3.5 points to 1,259 and Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 10.8 points to 2,336.
The reaction from financial markets was mostly “muted” on Tuesday. The ratings companies have “lost their clout” among traders, James Hughes, a senior market analyst with Alpari said in an interview with FOX Business.
European blue chips fell 0.25%, while the euro rose 0.16% to $1.3409. Yields on Italian debt are up slightly after the move by S&P, but still off the painful 7% mark. The country’s 10-year bond yields 6.4% presently, and investors demand a 4.16% premium to hold its debt over safe-haven German bunds.
European blue chips fell 0.25%, the English FTSE 100 rose 0.09% to 5,573 and the German DAX dipped 0.67% to 6,065.
In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 slid 1.4% to 8,575 and the Chinese Hang Seng sunk 1.2% to 18,942.
Benchmark crude oil traded in New York rose 24 cents, or 0.22%, to $101.17 a barrel. Wholesale RBOB gasoline climbed a penny to $2.62 a gallon.
Gold fell $12.30, or 0.71%, to $1,722 a troy ounce.
U.S. Treasury yields pushed higher as traders shed the asset. The benchmark 10-year note yields 2.079% from 2.062%.
Stocks to keep an eye on today include Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), Toll Brothers’ Inc. (NYSE:TOL), The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA), Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) and Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX)
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is down slightly in pre-market trading at $392.31. Over the past week, AAPL stock has risen more than $20 a share. AAPL trades 15.41 million shares a day on average. Apple and Samsung continue to be locked in a legal battle over patent infringements. The latest decision in this legal battle saw Samsung come out on top after Apple’s bid to halt sales of the company’s Galaxy line of smartphones in the U.S. failed. The company has a market cap of 3.47 billion.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) closed Monday up 1.90% at $25.70. MSFT trades 52.54 million shares a day on average. MSFT stock is up about $1 a share over the past 5 trading sessions. Microsoft is set to release a sizable update for its Xbox 360 later today and will add features such as Youtube, HBO and programming from Comcast. Microsoft has a market cap of 216.19 billion.
Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is down a little bit in pre-market trading at $195.18. AMZN trades 7.57 million shares a day on average. Amazon shares are up around $5 a share over the past week or so. AMZN has moved higher recently thanks to better than expected Black Friday holiday numbers and sales of its line of Kindle products. Amazon.com has a current market cap of 89.24 billion.
Toll Brothers, Inc. (NYSE:TOL) closed up Monday at $20.74. TOL has moved nearly $2 a share over the past 5 trading sessions. Earlier today, Toll Brothers announced quarterly results and reported higher-than-expected quarterly sales and earnings that beat Wall Street expectations. For the fiscal fourth quarter, TOL had an EPS of $0.09 while analysts expected $0.05. The company has a current market cap of 3.47 billion.
Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) closed Monday slightly lower at $71.09. BA trades 6.27 million shares a day on average. The stock has moved more than $4 a share in the past five trading sessions. Boeing has a market cap of 52.84 billion.
Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) closed higher on Monday at $102.82. CVX trades 10.23 million shares a day on average. Higher oil prices have helped keep Chevron moving higher over the past five trading sessions. Chevron has a market cap of 204.76 billlion.
Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) is down 0.60% in pre-market trading at $69.70. NFLX trades 9.37 million shares a day on average. NFLX had been trading pretty flat for the last week or so before moving up $4 yesterday. Netflix has a market cap of 3.68 billion.