Stock Futures Rise After Housing Data Top Expectations

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U.S. stock-index futures climbed slightly further into the green after a closely-watched report on housing prices came in better than Wall Street anticipated.

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Today's Markets

As of 9:08 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures climbed 25 points to 12456, S&P 500 futures gained 2.8 points to 1309 and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 6.5 points to 2533.

The S&P/Case-Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas shows home prices rose 1.3% in April on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, a significantly bigger increase than the 0.5% expected. The gauge fell by 1.9% in April from the same month a year earlier, less than the 2.5% decline expected.

The housing market has struggled to regain its footing in recent years, although a report released on sales of new homes on Monday came in much better then anticipated. A separate report due later in the morning is expected to show consumer confidence having edged up in June from the month before.

Market participants have been inundated with headlines from Europe as the debt crisis begins affecting more economies. Cyprus became the fifth country to seek a public rescue. The Mediterranean island nation is one of Europe's smallest economies, meaning it is likely to be easily contained, but it serves as a reminder that the debacle is quickly evolving.

Moody's Investors Service also sliced its credit rating on 28 Spanish banks. This comes after Spain requested up to $125 billion worth of aid to recapitalize them. At an auction on Tuesday, Spain sold roughly $3.9 billion in short-term bonds, which came above its target range. However, Madrid was forced to pay triple the rate it paid last time on one issue, and double on another.

Spain's costs to borrow for 10 years on secondary markets climbed to 6.67%, representing a 5.17-percentage point premium to safe-haven German debt. Analyst say it will be very difficult for the country to sustain such high costs for long. Italy also saw its 10-year yields rise above the 6% mark once again.

Commodities markets were mixed. The benchmark crude oil contract in New York fell 17 cents, or 0.19%, to $79.06 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline rose 0.55% to $2.66 a gallon.

In metals, gold slipped $6.00, or 0.38%, to $1,583 a troy ounce.

Foreign Markets

The Euro Stoxx 50 rose 0.33% to 2138, the English FTSE 100 gained 0.18% to 5460 and the German DAX climbed 0.13% to 6141.

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei dipped 0.81% to 8664 and the Chinese Hang Seng rose 0.45% to 18982.