Stock index futures signal pause after sharp rally

June 7th, 201211:12 am @


Thu Jun 7, 2012 5:33am EDT

PARIS (Reuters) – Stock index futures pointed to a slightly higher open on Wall Street on Thursday following the previous session’s sharp rally, with futures for the SP 500 up 0.33 percent, Dow Jones futures up 0.20 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures up 0.22 percent at 05.23 a.m. EDT.

European stocks were up 0.6 percent in morning trade, adding to the previous session’s sharp rally, as investors bet policymakers in Europe could soon unveil measures to prop up ailing Spanish banks and that further U.S. monetary stimulus may be on the way. .EU

The Federal Reserve’s second-highest official on Wednesday laid out the case for the U.S. central bank to provide more support to a fragile economy as financial turmoil in Europe mounts.

Janet Yellen, the vice chair of the Fed, cited risks from ongoing housing problems, a weak jobs market and worsening financial conditions in a speech in Boston. Her views carry great weight with Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, and her comments suggest that the Fed may be close to easing policy again.

On the euro zone front, even though Spain has not yet requested assistance and is resisting being placed under international supervision, Germany and European Union officials are urgently exploring ways to rescue the country’s banking sector, sources said.

Spain met strong demand when it sold 2.1 billion euros ($2.62 billion) of medium- and long-term bonds, passing a key test of its ability to tap investors after a minister said earlier this week the country was being cut off from the markets.

Goodyear Tire Rubber Co (GT.N) acquired 100 percent ownership of its Nippon Giant Tire (NGT) unit in Japan for an undisclosed amount.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc (GMCR.O) is in talks with pharmaceutical companies about developing drinks for its Keurig brewers that it hopes could aid the health of consumers and company margins, a senior executive said.

Chesapeake Energy Corp (CHK.N) need not delay its scheduled annual meeting on Friday to allow shareholders more time to investigate the financial dealings of the natural gas company’s embattled chief executive, Aubrey McClendon, a federal judge ruled.

Shares of HTC (2498.TW) fell to their lowest intraday level in more than two years on Thursday after the smartphone maker warned of lower revenues and was named in a patent lawsuit by rival Apple Inc (AAPL.O).

May’s stock market rout dealt a blow to many on Wall Street including several big hedge fund stars whose bets on prominent U.S. companies looked badly timed.

Oracle Corp (ORCL.O) launched a new suite of cloud-based products on Wednesday to try to catch up with smaller but nimbler vendors, such as Inc (CRM.N), in the business of hosting and distributing software via the Internet.

Twitter has generated more advertising revenue from its mobile platform than from its website on many days in the last quarter, CEO Dick Costolo said on Wednesday, highlighting Twitter’s progress in squeezing ad dollars out of the growing number of smartphone and tablet users worldwide.

U.S. stocks jumped on Wednesday, giving the SP 500 its best day since December, as talk of a rescue of Spain’s troubled banks and hopes for more monetary stimulus sparked a rebound from recent selling.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was up 286.84 points, or 2.37 percent, at 12,414.79. The Standard Poor’s 500 Index .SPX was up 29.63 points, or 2.30 percent, at 1,315.13. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC was up 66.61 points, or 2.40 percent, at 2,844.72.

(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Adrian Croft)

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