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Progress on the European front gave stock-index futures a boost, but gains were cut after DuPont pared back its full-year earnings guidance.
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As of 9:15 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures gained 28 points to 11,972, S&P 500 futures rose 4.5 points to 1,235 and Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 5 points to 2,287.
Every European Union country besides Great Britain agreed to tighter fiscal supervision that is designed to keep governments from amassing high public-debt loads and causing a repeat of crisis that the bloc has been struggling with for two years. However, the pact left Great Britain isolated, with Prime Minister David Cameron vetoing the measures.
Still, European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi called the deal "a very good outcome." The ECB's reaction was being closely watched by market participants who are hoping the central bank might unveil measures to help ease the crisis if countries agree to keep their deficits in check. However, comments from Draghi on Thursday called into question whether that can legitimately occur.
The policymakers also said they will aim to bring the new bailout fund, called the European Stability Mechanism, online in July 2012, bringing the combined rescue power to roughly 500 billion euros.
European blue chips jumped 1.3%, while the euro fell 0.01% to $1.3341. Conversely, the closely-watched yield on Italian 10-year bonds topped the painful 7%, while the premium investors demand to buy that countries debt over safe-haven German bunds rose above 5 percentage points.
On the corporate front, several high-profile companies slashed their profit outlook. Dow component DuPont (NYSE:DD) cut its full-year 2011 outlook to $3.87 to $3.95 a share from a range of $3.97 to $4.05, excluding one-time items. The conglomerate blamed the move on a slew of factors, including softening demand for consumer electronics and a weak construction and housing market.
The move follows Texas Instruments (NYSE:TXN), which cut its fourth-quarter sales and profit guidance after the close of trading on Thursday.
Wall Street will receive fresh U.S. trade and consumer sentiment data on Friday. The trade deficit fell to$43.47 billion in October from $44.17 billion the month prior. The deficit is now at its narrowest point since December 2010. The smaller the deficit, the less it detracts from broader measures of economic growth.
Consumer sentiment is forecast to have ticked higher in early December from November. Economists expect the Reuters/University of Michigan gauge of to rise to 65.5 from 64.1. Sentiment is particularly crucial as the key holiday shopping season ramps up.
Energy markets were to the downside. The benchmark crude oil contract traded in New York fell 71 cents, or 0.37%, to $97.64 a barrel. Wholesale RBOB gasoline gained dropped 0.04% to $2.555 a gallon.
In metals, gold climbed $11.20, or 0.65%, to $1,725 a troy ounce. Traders sold U.S. government debt, pushing yields higher. The benchmark 10-year Treasury yields 2.016% to 1.970%.
European blue chips soared 1.8%, the English FTSE 100 gained 0.83% to 5,529 and the German DAX jumped 1.8% to 5,979.
In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 slid 1.5% to 8,536 and the Chinese Hang Seng tumbled 2.7% to 18,586.