Stock Futures Extend Rally on Euro Hopes

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Stock-index futures pointed to more gains for Wall Street after a relatively strong Italian bond auction helped instill some confidence that European leaders may be able to contain the debt crisis.

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Today's Markets 

As of 8:15 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures climbed 40 points to 11,538, S&P 500 futures gained 6 points to 1,197 and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 5 points to 2,226.

The markets zoomed higher on Monday, marking at least a temporary end to what was a powerful, multi-week selloff for Wall Street. As has been the case in many sessions prior, traders have been focused on Europe's debt crisis.

Italy sold €7.5 billion at a bond auction on Tuesday, which is at the high range of the €5 to €8 billion target, indicating relatively strong demand.  However, the country was forced to pay yields that were both well above what it had paid in prior auctions, and considerably higher than the 7% level on numerous maturities.  The higher the yield the country pays, the higher its borrowing costs, and therefore the greater the chances that it won't be able to finance itself on the private markets.

European leaders will be meeting at a summit on Tuesday to discuss the next aid tranche for Greece and a plan to utilize the European Financial Stability Fund to help stem the two-year-old sovereign debt crisis. Market participants say there could be significant reaction to releases from the meeting.

European blue chips rose 0.31% while the euro climbed 0.17% to $1.333.

Traders will also get numerous key reports on the U.S. economy.

The S&P/Case-Shiller gauge of home prices likely remained unchanged in September from the month prior, according to estimates by economists.  Excluding seasonal adjustments, prices are expected to have ticked 0.1% higher.  Home prices have been negatively affected by weak demand, tight lending conditions and a high supply of homes on the market.

Consumer confidence is forecast to have jumped to 44 in November from October.  These data come on the heels of a very strong showing by retailers on the key Thanksgiving weekend, and Cyber Monday.

Energy markets were modestly higher following big gains in the prior session.  The benchmark crude oil contract traded in New York rose 28 cents, or 0.29%, to $98.48 a barrel.  Wholesale RBOB gasoline gained 2 cents, or 0.91%, to $2.54 a gallon.

In metals, gold rose $1.00, or 0.05%, to $1,715 a troy ounce. Treasury yields continued rising for a second-straight day. The benchmark 10-year note yields 1.990% from 1.983%.

Foreign Markets

European blue chips rose 0.31%, the English FTSE 100 gained 0.15% to 2,229 and the German DAX climbed 0.37% to 5,767.

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 soared 2.3% to 8,478 and the Chinese Hang Seng jumped 1.2% to 18,256.

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