Futures Rally Ahead of Key Vote in Italy

Futures pointed to a higher open Tuesday, tracking shares in Europe boosted by upbeat earnings as investors looked ahead to a key parliamentary vote on public finance in Rome which may hold the key to Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s future.

Italy’s center-left opposition said it was preparing a motion of no-confidence in the government that would bring Berlusconi down even if he should survive Tuesday's vote, Reuters reported.

Meanwhile in Greece, an emergency cabinet meeting was underway to agree on a new prime minister.

With no macroeconomic data or major earnings on tap, developments in Greece and Italy in particular are likely to dominate headlines on Tuesday.

In company news, Hewlett-Packard is looking to sell Palm's webOS mobile software platform, a deal that could fetch hundreds of millions of dollars but less than the $1.2 billion that HP paid last year, four sources close to the matter told Reuters.

Credit Suisse will comply with a request from the Swiss government for account information after U.S. authorities requested Switzerland's help in catching Americans suspected of tax fraud.

The bank will hand over details of wealthy Americans with hidden Swiss accounts to the Swiss government.

McDonald's gained after the fast-food giant posted a better-than-expected gain in October sales, thanks to its promotional Monopoly game in the U.S.

Toyota withdrew its full-year profit outlook on Tuesday as Thai floods pose a fresh threat to production just as it was recovering from supply shortages that battered profits after the March earthquake in Japan.

On the economic front, the National Federation of Independent Business said its Small Business Optimism Index gained for a second consecutive monthin October as outlook for business conditions improved.

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On Tap This Week:

TUESDAY: 3-yr note auction, EU finance ministers meet; Earnings from Activision Blizzard, Take Two Interactive
WEDNESDAY: Weekly mortgage apps, wholesale trade, oil inventories, 10-yr note auction, AT&T/Sprint back in court, Citigroup settlement hearing; Earnings from Anheuser Busch, GM, HSBC, Macy's, Ralph Lauren, Wendy's, Cisco, Green Mountain
THURSDAY: International trade, jobless claims, import & export prices, 30-yr bond auction, MF Global bankruptcy proceedings; Earnings from Kohl's, Disney, Nordstrom, Nvidia
FRIDAY: US Holiday—Veteran's Day. Markets open, banks closed. Consumer sentiment, French short sale ban ends

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