Stock Futures Jump as Housing Data Match Views


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U.S. stock-index futures zipped higher on Tuesday as traders reviewed generally upbeat housing data and awaited other reports.

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Today's Markets

As of 9:00 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures climbed 81 points, or 0.5%, to 16283, S&P 500 futures rose 7.8 points, or 0.43%, to 1857 and Nasdaq 100 futures advanced 14.8 points, or 0.41%, to 3626.

After a day that was quiet on the economic front, the data docket is fuller on Tuesday.

Traders started the day with a report showing German business confidence slumped for the first time in five months in March.

"Companies expressed far less confidence in future business developments, but were more satisfied with their current business situation," the Ifo Institute wrote in its report. "The crisis of the emerging economies and the events in Crimea are impacting the confidence of German firms."

Germany is Europe's biggest economy and is considered a bellwether for the eurozone currency bloc.

On the U.S. front, home prices in 20 major U.S. cities fell 0.1% in January from December on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, according to the closely-watched S&P/Case-Shiller housing report. The reading matched economists’ expectations. Prices, however, rose 13.2% from the year prior. The report is a lagging indicator, but economists look to it for its accuracy.

Meanwhile, a report from the Commerce Department at 10:00 a.m. ET could show sales of new, single-family homes having fallen to an annual pace of 445,000 units in February from 441,000 the month prior. The housing market took a hit in the first two months of the year from bad weather that affected demand and the construction industry.

The Conference Board's gauge of consumer confidence also due out at 10:00 a.m. is forecast to have fallen slightly to 78.6 in March from 78.1 in February.

Elsewhere, U.S. crude oil futures climbed 46 cents, or 0.46%, to $100.07 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline rose 0.33% to $2.90 a gallon. Gold advanced $5.10, or 0.39%, to $1,316 a troy ounce.

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