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Futures Turn Higher, Following OPEC News

CNBC.com
Tuesday, 8 Mar 2011 | 9:20 AM ET

Stock index futures turned higher again after news that OPEC had no plans for an extraordinary meeting.

Earlier, futures fell after Kuwait's oil minister said OPEC was considering raising production for the first time in more than two years, a move that also sent oil prices lower. Oil prices rose slightly after the latest news.

"We are in consultations about a potential output increase, but have not yet decided," Kuwait's Oil Minister Sheikh Ahmad al-Abdullah Al-Sabah told reporters on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

London Brent crude traded over $113 a barrel, while U.S. light sweet crude traded just above $105

Stocks fell on Monday, dragged lower by technology stocks and worries over the situation in the Middle East.

With no major economic releases and no big earnings reports for Tuesday, international developments are likely to remain the focus.

In the Middle East, Libyan rebels said Muammar Gaddafi had offered talks on quitting his position as head of state but they refused.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will visit Germany later Tuesday, ahead of an European Union summit about how to rescue cash-strapped euro zone members.

Last week, Geithner said the euro zone needed to do whatever was necessary to help the indebted members and their banks.

Disputes over how to solve the excessive debt situation for countries on the periphery of the euro zone rages on, and one prominent area is the leadership of the European Central Bank.

As the end of the term of current president Jean-Claude Trichet is nearing, markets are wondering who the next ECB head will be, after the shock resignation of Bundesbank chief Axel Weber last month.

Room for Growth?
"We're the largest operator of the hotel industry," Denis Hennequin, CEO of Accor Group told CNBC, adding that the company has 4,100 hotels around the world.

In company news, McDonald's was slightly lower despite a 3.9 percent gain in global growthhelped revenue in locations open at least 13 months.

And Urban Outfitters sank after the retailer delivered unexpectedly weak profits. Citigroup cut Urban Outfitters' price target to $34 a share from $38, while Wall Street Strategies cut the retailer's rating to "sell" from "hold."

Also, a federal judge extended a temporary order preventing courts in Ecuador from collecting an $18 billion judgment against Chevron .

Boeing sees China driving its aircraft demand and has sealed deals with two Chinese airlines to buy 2,000 planes from it over the next 5 years.

On the Calendar:

TUESDAY: McDonald's February sales data, 3-year Treasury note auction, BofA investor conference, Nvidia analyst meeting.
WEDNESDAY: Mortgage applications, wholesale trade, oil inventories, 10-year Treasury note auction, BofA/ML consumer conf., Citi 2011 financial services conference, anniversary of S&P 500 closing low (2009); earnings before-the-bell from American Eagle Outfitters and after-the-bell from H&R Block.
THURSDAY: BoE announcement, international trade, jobless claims, quarterly services survey, 30-year Treasury bond auction, Treasury budget, money supply, Nasdaq peak anniversary; Earnings before-the-bell from Smithfield Foods and after-the-bell from National Semiconductor.
FRIDAY: Retail sales, consumer sentiment, business inventories, S&P index rebalancing info due, Apple's iPad 2 ships; earnings before-the-bell from Ann Taylor.

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