Futures Rise After Euro Storm Cloud Passes

U.S. stock index futures moved higher ahead of the open Tuesday as another fright over the state of European debt passed and the market geared up for more earnings.

Alcoa beat analysts' profit expectations in results posted after the market closed Monday, though traders were less than impressed with the aluminum producer's revenue results and took the stock down more than 1 percent in pre-market trading.

Also in earnings, home builder Lennar beat its profit target even though sales were lower than expected. Shares jumped 4.8 percent premarket.

Among retail stocks Sears soared after reporting a fourth quarter outlook that exceeded Wall Street's expectations as sales rose in several categories, including toys and sporting goods.

But Talbots plummeted after cutting its fourth quarter outlook and a reporting a sharp decline in same store sales so far this fiscal quarter, which ends Jan. 29.

Luxury retailer Tiffany reported a huge jump in holiday sales, and used the 11 percent year-over-year gain as reason to boost its full-year outlook for 2011. Shares gained in pre-market trading.

But Supervalu posted an unexpected loss for the quarter, causing the supermarket chain to lower its outlook, sinking its shares.

Advanced Micro Devices slumped after news Monday that the semiconductor company's chief executive, Dirk Meyer, resigned in a "mutual agreement" with the board of directors. Thomas Seifert, chief financial officer, will become interim CEO as the company conducts a search for a new CEO.

European shares were higher with banking stocks among the best gainers. Concerns over the euro zone debt crisis remained sharply in focus after Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates said the country would not ask for a bailout despite market pressure.

Asian indexes ended mixed with Japanese stocks lower after Japan announced it planned to buy euro zone bonds to support the region's financial system.

On the economic front, November's wholesale inventory data is released at 10 a.m, and are expected to gain 1.0 percent, according to Reuters. Inventories had risen 1.9 percent in October.

Minnesota Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota will be speaking at 2 p.m. in Madison Wisconsin.

On Tap This Week:

TUESDAY: National Federation of Independent Businesses Small Business Optimism Index, Philadelphia and Minneapolis Fed Presidents speak, wholesale trade, 3-year Treasury note auction; before-the-bell earnings from Lennar, Chevron interim results.
WEDNESDAY: Weekly mortgage applications, imports-exports price indexes, oil inventories, 10-year Treasury note auction, Federal Reserve’s Beige Book, Federal Reserve Chairman Timothy Geithner speaks; Dallas Fed President speaks.
THURSDAY: Bank of England and European Central Bank announcements, international trade, PPI, jobless claims, 30-year Treasury bond auction; after-the-bell earnings from Intel.
FRIDAY: CPI, retail sales, industrial production, consumer sentiment, business inventories, Richmond Fed president speaks; before-the-bell earnings from JPMorgan.

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