Published May 29, 2012
FOX Business: The Power to Prosper
U.S. stock-index futures signaled the markets may extend last week's gains as traders digested a closely-watched report on home prices that came in close to expectations.
As of 9:10 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures jumped 89 points to 12519, S&P 500 futures climbed 9.4 points to 1324 and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 20.8 points to 2545.
The markets snapped a three-week losing streak last week, with the broad S&P 500 jumping 1.7% in its best week since late April. Wall Street was poised to extend those gains after many Asian markets rallied on hopes that Bejing would enact stimulus measures to stop the expansion in the world's No. 2 economy from slowing down too rapidly.
Home prices in 20 major metropolitan areas held steady in March from the month before on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, according to a report from S&P/Case-Shiller. Prices were down 2.6% from year earlier levels. Both levels came in line with economists expectations. Housing prices have remained depressed in many parts of the country as a result of anemic demand, tight lending conditions and high supplies. Even though the data from S&P are a lagging indicator, they often have a substantial markets impact.
A reading on consumer confidence from the Conference Board on tap for 10:00 a.m. ET is forecast to show a modest month-to-month gain for the month of May. Consumer sentiment has been helped this month by gas prices falling from peak levels and a generally more upbeat future outlook. Still, with inconsistent job growth, many analysts have questioned how robust the consumer sector will be during the second quarter.
The monthly jobs report for May from the Labor Department is slated for release on Friday. It is generally considered to be one of the key economic metrics.
Commodities were mixed on the day. The benchmark crude oil contract traded in New York rose 42 cents, or 0.46%, to $91.28 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline gained 0.38% to $2.90 a gallon.
In metals, gold gained $4.30, or 0.27%, to $1,576 a troy ounce.
The Euro Stoxx 50 rose 0.14% to 2151, the English FTSE 100 gained 0.28% to 5371 and the German DAX jumped 0.8% to 6374.
In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 climbed 0.74% to 8657 and the Chinese Hang Seng rallied 1.4% to 19055.