U. S. Stock Futures Post Sharp Gains Today As Euro Zone Prospects Look Brighter Along With Jobs In USA. Stocks to Watch: LULU, AAPL, PEIX, BIOF, TXI, RIMM, KR

U.S. stock futures rose sharply on news that Germany and France are taking the lead in getting the euro zone crisis under control. Also, investors are looking for a good report from the Labor Department on nonfarm payrolls.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 153 points to 12,156, S&P 500 futures gained 17 points to 1,260 and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 31.3 points to 2,340. The blue chips have added close to 800 points since Monday and are now more than 3% to the upside for the year. Meanwhile, the broader S&P 500 and Nasdaq have trimmed their year-to-date losses to 1%.

Investors were glad to hear proposals by French President Nicolas Sarkozy. After the matket closed on Thursday, Sarkozy proposed tighter fiscal integration for euro zone countries, and for the creation of a European Monetary Fund, which would be able to aid ailing countries before hand. The proposed body would be able to make decisions based on a majority vote instead of a unanimous one, which would make the process of providing rescue aid much quicker.

Wall Street is also waiting on the monthly employment jobs report at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists expect the economy will have added 122,000 jobs in November from the month prior. “We expect this report to be better than the last, but not a blockbuster,” Andrew Tilton, an economist at Goldman Sachs, wrote in a note to clients.

Benchmark crude traded in New York jumped $1.01, or 1%, to $101.22 a barrel. Wholesale RBOB gasoline soared 7 cents, or 2.8%, to $2.63 a gallon.

Gold gained $17.00, or 0.98%, to $1,757 a troy ounce. U.S. Treasury yields continued rising as equity markets have rallied. The benchmark 10-year note yields 2.128% from 2.003%.

European blue chips jumped 1.9%, the English FTSE 100 rallied 1.5% to 5,574 and the German DAX climbed 1.7% to 6,137.

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 edged higher by 0.54% to 8,644 and the Chinese Hang Seng rose 0.2% to 19,040.

Stocks to watch today include Lululemon Athletica Inc. (NASDAQ:LULU), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Pacific Ethanol (NASDAQ:PEIX), BioFuel Energy Corp. (NASDAQ:BIOF), Texas Industries, Inc. (NYSE:TXI), Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM), The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR)

Lululemon Athletica Inc. (NASDAQ:LULU) is up 3.58% in pre- market trading this morning after falling yesterday. LULU stock took a bit of a hit yesterday after the company’s revenue forecasts missed estimates. LULU trades 2.73 million shares a day on average. The company has a current market cap of 5.95 billion.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is up nearly 1% in pre-market trading with more than 60 thousand shares traded so far this morning. AAPL trades 15.62 million shares a day on average. Shares of Apple are up more than $10 so far this week. Apple Inc. has a current market cap of 360.55 billion.

Pacific Ethanol Inc. (NASDAQ:PEIX) is up 3.7% in pre-market trading at $1.40. PEIX had a great day yesterday, jumping from $1.10 to over $1.30. PEIX has traded 122 thousand shares so far today and trades 14.64 million shares a day on average. Pacific Ethanol has a current market cap of 104.09 million.

BioFuel Energy Corp. (NASDAQ:BIOF) is up 7.69% in pre-market trading at $0.70. BIOF began turning around yesterday after it had a bit of a sell off at the beginning of the week. BIOF trades 3.65 million shares a day on average. The company has a current market cap of 80.09 million.

Texas Industries, Inc. (NYSE:TXI) closed yesterday at $27.61 after hitting an intraday high of nearly $35. TXI trades on average 486 thousand shares a day. The company has a current market cap of 770.05 million.

Reserach In Motion Limited (NASDAQ:RIMM) is down nearly 6% in pre-market rading at $17.48. RIMM announced this morning it will take a $485 million charge for poor PlayBook sales. RIMM has traded 1.52 million shares so far this morning and trades 19.37 million shares a day on average.

The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR) finished Thursday at $23.37. KR announced third quarter results yesterday and they beat expectations. The company also raised their fiscal year forecast. KR trades 5.15 million shares a day on average. Kroger Co. has a current market cap of 13.36 billion.

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Danny is the old hat at Active Investor. One of the been around the block a few times traders, his main focus is on overall market conditions. Be it some new merger talk or Washington being Washington, you can expect Danny will be on top of it.
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