U.S. stocks seem to be on track for a rebound on Tuesday, as reflected by the U.S. index futures, which point to a higher opening. The positivism is despite more negative tidings on the eurozone debt crisis front. Moody's downgraded a slew of Spanish banks, triggering anxiety concerning the ill health of the financial system there. Cyprus became the fifth nation after Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain to request for a bailout. Treasury bill auction in Spain saw the beleaguered nation raising 3.077 billion euros, above its 2-3 billion euro target, although yields surged and demand waned notably.
Italy also saw its borrowing costs climb to the highest level since December at a short-term debt auction, reflecting doubts among investors about the outcome of the upcoming European summit.
Meanwhile, a consumer confidence data from Germany showed an unexpected improvement in consumer morale in Europe's largest economy. This comes as a welcome relief after German economic sentiment and business confidence data for June disappointed to the downside. The focus now shifts to the North American session, which will see the release of U.S. consumer confidence data and the results of a house price survey.
As of 6:15 am ET, the Dow futures are up 33 points and the S&P 500 futures are adding 4 points, while the Nasdaq 100 futures are moving up 10.25 points.
On the economic front, the Conference Board is scheduled to release its consumer confidence report for June at 10 am ET. The report is expected to show that the consumer confidence index declined to 63.5 in June from 64.9 in May.
Additionally, the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index is scheduled to be released at 9 am. Economists expect a seasonally adjusted 0.4 percent month-over-month increase in the 20-city composite house price index for April.
In corporate news, H.B. Fuller's (FUL) second quarter results and its forward guidance were above estimates.
Apollo Group's (APOL) third quarter results beat expectations. For 2012, the company expects net revenues of $4.2 billion to $4.3 billion and operating earnings, excluding items, of $700 million to $740 million. The revenue guidance surrounded the consensus estimate.
RockTenn (RKT) announced that it has closed on its acquisition of the assets of corrugated packaging manufacturer Mid South Packaging.
Standard & Poor's announced that Seagate Technology (STX) will replace Progress Energy (PGN) in the S&P 500 Index after the close of trading on June 29th.
Watson Pharma (WPI) confirmed that its subsidiary Watson Labs has filed an ANDA for seeking approval to market Desvenlafaxine Succinate, which is a generic version of Pfizer's (PFE) Pristiq used for treating major depressive disorder in adults.
H&R Block (HRB) and Sealy (ZZ) are among the companies due to release their quarterly results after the markets close.
The major Asian markets closed on a mixed note, as traders continued to be anxious about the situation in the eurozone. The markets in the region opened lower and saw lackluster trading, toeing in line with the unimpressive performance of Wall Street overnight. The news that Moody's downgraded 28 of Spanish banks also created some nervousness among traders.
Japan's Nikkei 225 average closed down 70.63 points or 0.81 percent at 8,664. Export stocks once again came under selling pressure, as the yen strengthened, while utility, pharma, construction and retail stocks found buying interest.
Australia's All Ordinaries also remained confined below the unchanged line and ended down 15.70 points or 0.39 percent at 4,056. Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index added 84.39 points or 0.45 percent before closing at 18,982.
A report released by the Bank of Japan showed that its corporate service price index edged up 0.1 percent year-over-year in May compared to expectations for a 0.3 percent increase. On a month-over-month basis, the index fell 0.4 percent. South Korean consumer confidence slipped to the weakest level in three months in June, as the eurozone debt crisis dampened consumer sentiment.
The major European averages are posting modest gains in volatile trading, with utilities and financial stocks advancing strongly.
In economic news, a survey by the GfK Institute showed that German consumer sentiment is expected to increase in July. The institute's forward-looking consumer sentiment indicator for Germany is expected to increase to 5.8 from 5.7 in June. Economists expected the index to drop to 5.6.
Confidence among French households remained unchanged in June after improving modestly in the previous month, according to a report released by statistical office INSEE. The consumer confidence index remained unchanged at 90 in June, while economists expected the index to drop to 89.
by RTT Staff Writer
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