Tuesday, Jul 03, 2012
--Stock futures tiptoe higher ahead of abbreviated session
--Europe markets gain as hopes for central bank action increase
--Stock market set to close early ahead of July 4 holiday
--Factory orders data for May on tap
By Tomi Kilgore
NEW YORK--U.S. stock futures nudged slightly higher ahead of an abbreviated pre-holiday session, with broad gains in overseas markets lending support as investors awaited factory orders data.
About 90 minutes before the open, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures edged up 5 points, or less than 0.1%, to 12781.
Standard & Poor's 500-stock index futures added 2 points, or 0.1%, to 1359 and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 6 points, or 0.2%, to 2620. Changes in stock futures do not always accurately predict stock moves after the opening bell.
The stock market is set to close at 1 p.m. EDT ahead of Wednesday's Independence Day holiday.
On the economic calendar, data on factory orders in May is due out at 10 a.m. EDT. The median estimate of economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires is for an increase of 0.1% after falling 0.6% in April.
European markets were broadly higher, with the Stoxx Europe 600 up 0.5% at a two-month high, on continued hopes for policy action from the European Central Bank later this week. Adding to investor expectations, May producer prices in the euro zone slowed to the weakest rate in more than two years, falling 0.5% from April.
Meanwhile, Spain's IBEX 35 index rose 0.4% as jobless claims in the country fell 2.l% in June, the third consecutive monthly drop.
Asian markets were mostly higher, with Japan's Nikkei Stock Average rising 0.7% and China's Shanghai Composite adding 0.1%. Australia's S&P ASX 200 bucked the trend by easing 0.1%, after the country's central bank left its key interest rate unchanged.
Crude oil futures rallied 2.7% to $85.97 a barrel, while gold futures gained 1% to $1613.20 an ounce. The U.S. dollar slipped against the euro but gained ground against the yen.
In corporate news, shares of Microsoft shed 1.5% in premarket trading after the blue chip software giant said it would take a noncash charge of $6.2 billion in its fiscal fourth quarter to write down the goodwill in its online services division, which resulted from the acquisition of aQuantive in 2007.
The U.S.-listed shares of Barclays advanced 2% after the U.K. banking giant's chief executive, Bob Diamond, resigned as a result of an interest rate manipulation scandal.
M*Modal jumped 22% after maker of voice-recognition software for the medical industry agreed to be acquired by J.P. Morgan Chase's private-equity arm for about $820 million.
Rosetta Resources gained 4.1% after S&P Dow Jones Indices said it would add the oil and gas production company's stock to the S&P MidCap 400 index to replace Catalyst Health Solutions, which is being acquired by SXC Health Solutions.
Write to Tomi Kilgore at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
July 03, 2012 08:10 ET (12:10 GMT)