U.S. Stock-Index Futures Rise Along With Japan and Australia

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index expiring in December rose 0.4 percent to 1,263 at 6:42 a.m. in New York. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures gained 59 points, or 0.5 percent, to 12,066.

All eyes are on Italy this morning waiting on a budget vote as the European’s third largest economy attempts to keep there debt problems in check. Investors worldwide have moved from worries about Greece to Italy now. Italian bond yields spiked this week, a sign that Europe’s debt crisis is far from over. Unlike Greece, Portugal or Ireland, all of which received financial rescue money, Italy has too much debt to be rescued by its European neighbors.

The euro shed 0.1% to $1.3762 , down from $1.3773 late in New York and well off a 2-month high of $1.4248 hit on Oct. 27.

The S&P 500 is trading over twelve times the estimated earnings of its companies, below the average multiple of 14 over the past five years, Bloomberg News data shows. The S&P 500 slid 2.5% last week, snapping a four-week rally, as Greece’s reluctance to accept another bailout and the failure of global leaders to agree on boosting the International Monetary Fund’s resources threatened Europe’s efforts to halt its debt crisis.

The S&P 500 companies reporting results since mid-October shows more than 72% of them topped estimates for earnings.

Japanese stock futures and Australian shares rose after the European Central Bank’s Juergen Stark predicted the region’s debt crisis will be controlled within two years and as Greece moved closer to naming a premier of a unity government.

Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 (NKY) Stock Average expiring in December closed at 8,785 in Chicago yesterday compared with 8,760 in Osaka, Japan. They were bid in the pre-market at 8,770 in Osaka at 8:05 a.m. local time. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.5 percent today. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index was little changed in Wellington.

Crude oil for December delivery rose $1.26 to $95.52 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. This is the highest settlement price since July 29.

Stocks to watch include Honeywell (NYSE:HON) which gained 0.4% to $54.15 in Germany after Citigroup Inc. upgraded the shares to “buy” from “neutral.” Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) and Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM) release earnings today.

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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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