Stocks Look to Build on 3-Month Highs

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U.S. stock-index futures pointed higher on Tuesday, signaling Wall Street may climb above levels not seen since early May as traders focus on central bank and corporate news.

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Today's Markets

As of 7:52 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 34 points to 13101, S&P 500 futures gained 5 points to 1395 and Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 16 points to 2703.

The S&P 500 has tacked on 2.1% in the past two trading days, pushing the broad-market index higher by more than 10% for the year. With the economic calendar light, traders have been paying close attention to the eurozone debt crisis.

European Central Bank Governing Council member Ardo Hansson told the Wall Street Journal that the central bank could make "substantial" purchases of sovereign debt of embattled countries. Hansson told the paper that the buying would be in conjunction with the eurozone's rescue funds, and would hinge on certain conditions that still push countries to reform. Potentially, a large-scale program to purchase government bonds could help keep borrowing costs in check.

The yield on Spain's 10-year bonds, which has been particularly closely watched, remained at 6.78% -- elevated, but below the 7% level that has prompted bailouts in the past. The cost of insuring the country's debt against a default, however, rose slightly on the day, according to financial data firm Markit.

Separately Boston Central Bank President Eric Rosengren told the Journal that the central bank needs to take much more aggressive action to boost the U.S. economy, including purchases of mortgage-backed securities and potentially Treasury securities.

"We need a pro-growth monetary policy," Rosengren, who does not currently command a vote on the Federal Open Market Committee, told the paper.

In corporate news, shares of Standard Chartered plunged more than 20% in London trading after a New York regulator accused the U.K. bank of scheming with Iran on billions of dollars of transactions and threatened to revoke its banking license.

Oil prices edged up. The benchmark contract traded in New York rose 39 cents, or 0.42%, to $92.61 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline gained 0.7%, to $2.943 a gallon.

In metals, gold advanced 90 cents, or 0.06%, to $1,617 a troy ounce.

Foreign Markets

The Euro Stoxx 50 rallied 1.1% to 2425, the English FTSE 100 slipped 0.06% to 5805 and the German DAX ticked up by 0.5% to 6953.

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 jumped 0.88% to 8803 and the Chinese Hang Seng rose 0.37% to 20073.

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