Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 90 points to 11588 and those on the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index advanced 12 points to 1203. Nasdaq 100 futures gained 20.50 points to 2241.50. After gains in European markets, U.S. markets are hopeful that European leaders are finally going to make some progress.
The blue-chip Dow index rallied on Monday, gaining nearly 300 points, or 2.6%. The rise snapped a four-day losing streak and posted the Dow’s biggest point and percentage gain since Oct. 27.
On Monday, Fitch’s maintained its triple-A rating on the U.S., but lowered its outlook to negative from stable. The move was triggered by Fitch’s declining confidence that fiscal measures will be enacted after the so-called congressional “super committee” failed to agree at least $1.2 trillion of measures to cut the federal budget deficit over the next 10 years.
European stock markets turned higher in mid-morning trade, with the Stoxx Europe 600 index up 0.7%. Euro zone finance ministers will meet in Brussels later on Tuesday where they are expected to discuss measures to stem the spread of the debt crisis. This time, it looks as though something meaningful will come out of the meeting.
The Italian Treasury saw its borrowing costs surge as it sold a total of EUR7.5 billion ($10 billion) of a new three-year benchmark and other government bonds on Tuesday. Italian bond yields had risen sharply in the secondary market ahead of the auction.
The euro gained 0.9% to $1.3410, while the dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback against a basket of other major currencies, dropped 0.6% to 78.692. The FTSEurofirst 300 extended gains into a third straight session and was up 0.5% at 945.98.
In the commodity markets, crude oil for January delivery rose 52 cents to $98.73 a barrel in electronic trading on Globex.
December gold futures also edged higher to $1,715 an ounce.
Stocks to watch today include Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Tiffany & Co. (NYSE:TIF), Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT), Sirius XM Radio Inc. (NASDAQ:SIRI), Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY), Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:BRCD)
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) closed Monday up 3.45% at $376.12. AAPL is up slightly in pre-market trading this morning at $376.51. AAPL stock trades 17.67 million shares on average daily. Apple erased most of its losses from the previous week yesterday as the whole market rallied big time. Apple has a current market cap of 349.57 billion.
Tiffany & Co. (NYSE:TIF) is closed Monday up 5.93% at $73.62. TIF is down slightly in pre-market at $73.00 after announcing third quarter results this morning. Tiffany reported a Q3 EPS of $0.73, well above the analysts’ estimates of $0.61. Revenue was solid at $821.8 million, nearly $20 million more than estimates. The company raised their FY11 outlook as well. TIF on average trades around 2.13 million shares a day. Tiffany & Co. has a current market cap of 9.37 billion.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) closed Monday up 0.63% at $57.25. WMT trades on average 10.98 million shares a day. WMT opened at $57.53 yesterday before slowly falling back down the rest of the day. Wal-Mart has a current market cap of 197.32 billion.
Sirius XM Radio Inc. (NASDAQ:SIRI) closed Monday up 0.86% at $1.76. SIRI trades on average 65.42 million shares a day. SIRI was only up slightly yesterday despite the big rally on Wall Street. Sirius has a current market cap of 6.62 billion.
Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) closed Monday up 3.36% at $26.49. BBY is currently up slightly in pre-market trading at $26.60. The better than expected Black Friday numbers helped Best Buy stock and a number of other retailer stocks. BBY trades 5.52 million shares a day on average. Best Buy has a current market cap of 9.60 billion.
Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:BRCD) is closed Monday up 3.52% at $5.29. BRCD trades on average 7.97 million shares a day. Over the past 5 trading sessions, BRCD is up nearly $0.75 per share. Brocade Communications has a current market cap of 2.37 billion.