Stock Futures Signal Big Gains for Wall Street

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U.S. stock-index futures extended a global rally as traders respond to measures taken by eurozone leaders aimed at easing the currency bloc’s debt crisis.

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Today's Markets

As of 8:34 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rallied 166 points to 12691, S&P 500 futures jumped 22 points to 1345 and Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 43 points to 2571.

After days of trepidation leading up to the European Union summit, traders were finally able to breathe at least a temporary sigh of relief on Friday. The European Council said in a statement early Friday that is "imperative to break the vicious circle between banks and sovereigns."

As a result, it is planning several moves aimed at easing embattled eurozone credit and financial markets. One of the most important components is the introduction of a single bank regulator that would work with the European Central Bank and oversee the bloc's banks. Once that is set up, the European Council said it will allow banks to borrow directly from the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), which is the eurozone's permanent rescue fund. That is important because right now banks need to borrow via their countries, which in turn increases those countries' national debt levels.

On a more technical level, the European Council also said the ESM will not become a senior debt holder when it lends to banks in Spain. There were worries that if that occurred, it would spook private bondholders who see their holdings become subordinate.

The statement said the formal plans should be crafted by July 9. While market participants cheered the news, many analysts remained concerned about the long-term stability of the eurozone.

The measures "exceeded the market's mean view because risks had been skewed to the downside: there had been a significant probability that no agreement would be made at all," analysts at Barclays wrote in a note to clients.

"However, the agreement represents only a limited move forward and deep disagreements remain between euro area countries, so it is far from a game-changer."

Eurozone blue chips rallied close to 3% and the euro soared 1.2% to $1.2593.

Wall Street is also set to get several economic reports on the day.

Consumer spending remained flat in May from April as expected while personal income rose 0.2%, also as expected, the Commerce Department reported. A report due later for the Institute for Supply Management-Chicago is forecast to show the manufacturing sector in the mid-West having expanded at a slightly slower pace in June than the month before. The more closely-watched national ISM report is due out on Monday.

A survey from Reuters/University of Michigan is expected to show consumer sentiment having held steady in late June from earlier in the month. The consumer sector has been particularly resilient to the weak economy and sluggish labor-market growth seen in recent months.

Commodities markets posted big gains on the back of the global rally. The benchmark crude oil contract traded in New York jumped $2.70, or 3.5%, to $80.38 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline climbed 1.4% to $2.651 a gallon.

In metals, gold rallied $30.40, or 2%, to $1,581 a troy ounce.

Foreign Markets

The Euro Stoxx 50 surged 2.9% to 2220, the English FTSE 100 rallied 1.4% to 5572 and the German DAX soared 2.5% to 6303.

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 gained 1.5% to 9007 and the Chinese Hang Seng jumped 2.2% to 19441.