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Futures Gain Slightly as Euro Debt Fears Linger

Stock index futures gained ahead of the open Tuesday, tracking European and Asian shares higher a day after the markets sold off amid fears over euro zone debt troubles and falling commodity prices.

Monday’s drop was the result of another downgrade for Greece as well as a rating downgrade warning for Italy. With little macroeconomic data to offer direction for stocks, investors will remain focused on the threat of a Greek default and potential contagion to other euro zone countries.

Moody’s rating agency told Reuters in an interview a Greek default would be "highly destabilizing" and would have implications for the creditworthiness of issuers across Europe".

Oil prices gainedafter Goldman Sachs said demand for oil would rise. U.S. light, sweet crude rose 2 percent to more than $112 a barrel, while in London, Brentcrude rose 1.5 percent to more than $99.

Copper prices gained after Goldman said China would be boosting purchases.

American International Group plans to raise nearly $9 billion in a 300 million share secondary offering after the market closes on Tuesday. The U.S. Treasury will be selling 200 million shares of its 92 percent stake in AIG, while AIG is selling the rest.

Deere gained slightly after raising its quarterly dividend by 17 percent to 41 cents a share from 35 cents. The move comes after the maker of construction, mining and farm equipment released strong second quarter earnings and an upbeat forecast.

And Medtronic fell after a disappointing earnings report as sales slowed for its implantable herat defibrillators.

Sony gained after news its operating profits would be the same as last year's despite the devasting earthquake and tsunami in Japan in March.

New home sales for April will be released at 10 a.m. and were expected to remain stable at 300,000, a Briefing.com poll found. The FDIC releases its quarterly report on bank earnings on Tuesday.

President Barack Obama continues his European tour on Tuesday with a visit to the UK.

In an article in The Times newspaper, Obama and UK Prime Minister David Cameron wrote they shared the same growth and reform goals for their national economies.

"We are two different countries but our destination must be the same: strong and stable growth, reduced deficits and reform of our financial systems — so that they will never again be open to the abuses of the past," they wrote.

On Tap This Week:

TUESDAY: New home sales, Richmond Fed Business Activity Survey, two-year Treasury note auction; Kansas City Fed President Thomas Hoenig speaks; Boeing Investor meeting; FDIC report on Q1 bank earnings.
WEDNESDAY: Mortgage applications, durable goods orders, oil inventories, five-year Treasury note auction; Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota speaks; USDA Food Prices Outlook, BlackRock shareholder meeting, ExxonMobil shareholder meeting, Yahoo investor day; earnings before-the-bell from Costco and Polo Ralph Lauren.
THURSDAY: GDP, USDA Agricultural Trade Outlook, jobless claims, corporate profits, natural gas inventories, seven-year Treasury note auction, money supply; earnings before-the-bell from Sony and Tiffany.
FRIDAY: Personal income and spending, consumer sentiment, and pending home sales.

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