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Futures Move Higher After GM Announcement

CNBC.com
Tuesday, 3 Jun 2008 | 8:15 AM ET

U.S. stock index futures edged higher after General Motors said it would stop production at a truck plant in Canada and three others in North America.

GM Chief Executive Rick Wagoner told reporters about the automaker's restructuring plans at a briefing Tuesday morning in Wilmington, Del. Last month, the Canadian Auto Workers union reached an agreement with GM as part of a new contract to postpone layoffs at the Oshawa, Ontario truck plant until September 2009.

The automaker's shares gained 2.3 percent in premarket trading and pushed up futures, which had been indicating lower before the GM news.

In other market developments, Lehman Brothers shares fell in premarket trading after the Wall Street Journal reported the investment bank may raise billions of dollars of fresh capital.

Also, luxury home builder Toll Brothers said it swung to a loss for the second quarter, but it was not as bad as the market had feared. The company blamed continued weak demand in most markets amid a housing slump which is heading into its second year.

And in merger and acquisition news, office supplies retailer Staples raised its all-cash bid for Dutch business products company Corporate Express for the second time to 1.7 billion euros ($2.65 billion), in an attempt to break into the Dutch market.

In economic news, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will speak to bankers in Barcelona at 9 am New York time, and his speech will be broadcast live on CNBC.com.

There are not many economic indicators due on Tuesday but investors will look to factory orders, due to be released at 10 am, for clues on where the economy is going.

Analysts surveyed by Briefing.com expect that factory orders fell by 0.1 percent in April from March's 1.3 percent rise.

And Richard A. Grasso, former chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, may be able to keep the staggering $185 million award that once made him a symbol of Wall Street greed -- a package awarded to him by the A-list board members at the exchange who eventually fired him.

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