Stock-index futures showed a rally on Thursday following the worst sell-off in months after promising developments from Italy and Greece somewhat eased anxiety that euro zone policymakers are losing control of the debt crisis that has threatened to throw the region into financial disaster.
Wall Street’s dive on Wednesday knocked the the Nasdaq and S&P 500 into negative territory for the year. The plunge shaved $117.4 billion in market capitalization from the 30 companies listed on the Dow. Headlines from Europe have ruled the day in every trading session this week, and appear to be ready to do so again today.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 106 points to 11,838 and those on the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index climbed 13.5 points to 1,239.10. Nasdaq 100 futures advanced 21.25 points to 2,332.20.
The blue-chip Dow index slumped nearly 400 points on Wednesday, as Italy’s borrowing costs surged to levels seen as unsustainable. The yield on 10-year Italian government bonds fell on Thursday but remained near the critical 7% level. The Italian government sold 5 billion euros ($6.8 billion) in 12-month Treasury bills, but its borrowing costs soared.
European equity markets swung between small gains and losses on Thursday, with the Stoxx Europe 600 index up 0.3%. Asian markets fell sharply overnight, with the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong falling 5.3% to 18,964. The Japanese Nikkei plummeted 2.9% to 8,501.
Data from China showed the October trade surplus widened less than expected, as exports fell from the previous month.
In the commodity markets, December gold futures fell $23.60 to $1,768 an ounce in electronic trading on Globex.
Crude-oil futures rose $1.23 to $96.97 a barrel.
Stocks to watch today include Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ:GMCR), Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO), General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) and KIT digital, Inc. (NASDAQ:KITD).