Futures Bounce Amid Euro Zone Optimism

Futures surged Monday amid hopes European leaders were exploring more drastic methods to bring Europe's debt crisis under control while consumers boosted retail sales over the Thanksgiving weekend.

European investors responded positively as officials said Germany and France were exploring radical actions of securing deeper and more rapid fiscal integration among euro zone countries.

European stocks also jumped, led by financials, amid renewed hopes of fresh measures to fight the euro zone debt crisis.

Italy's prime minister faces a testing week as he seeks to shore up the country's strained public finances, with an IMF mission expected in Rome and market pressure building to a point where outside help may be needed to stem a full-scale debt emergency.

An IMF spokesperson denied that the institution was in talks with Italian authorities for a loan of up to 600 billion euros ($798 billion) after Italian daily newspaper La Stampa reported that the Fund was considering such a plan.

And the OECD said the euro zone was in a mild recession, identifying the debt crisis as the main risk for the global economy.

President Obama will press EU officials to reach a definitive solution to their sovereign debt crisis which is emerging as a major 2012 US election worry.

Meanwhile, U.S. retailers racked up a record $52.4 billion in sales over the Thanksgiving weekend, a 16.4 percent jump from a year ago, as early hours and attractive promotions brought out more shoppers, an industry trade group said on Sunday.

Best Buy and Wal-Mart Stores were both higher.

Amazon.com also rallied as Cyber Monday kicked off.

Financials were also higher with Bank of America and Citigroup both up nearly 5 percent. French banks were even higher, with BNP Paribas up more than 8 percent on talk about liquidity injections for institutions that could get hit by the spreading sovereign debt crisis.

The rebound—coming after the worst Thanksgiving week for the stock market in nearly 80 years—carried asset prices higher across the board.

Oil giant Anadarko Petroleum said its major gas finds offshore Mozambique were actually twice as large as it earlier thought, adding support to hopes that East Africa will become another major gas production center.

Ternium, Latin America's second-largest steelmaker, said on Sunday it would pay $2.2 billion to buy a stake in Brazilian rival Usiminas from two of its minority shareholders, despite tough conditions for mills in the continent's largest economy.

Economic data due out later on Monday includes new home sales for October released by the Commerce Department at 10 am in New York. Economists polled by Reuters forecast a total of 315,000 annualized units, compared with 313,000 units in September.

The Commerce Department also releases October building permits figures. In the original October release, 653,000 permits were reported. And the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago releases at 7:30 am its Chicago Fed Midwest Manufacturing Index for October. The index read 85.2 in September.

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On Tap This Week:

MONDAY: New home sales, Dallas Fed mfg survey
TUESDAY: S&P Case-Shiller home price index, consumer confidence, FHFA home price index, Fed's Kocherlakota speaks, Fed's Yellen speaks; Earnings from Tiffany
WEDNESDAY: Weekly mortgage applications, Challenger job-cut report, ADP employment report, productivity & costs, Chicago PMI, pending home sales index, oil inventories, Beige Book, farm prices, AT&T/TMobile hearing, USDA's agricultural trade outlook; Earnings from American Eagle, Aeropostale
THURSDAY: Jobless claims, ISM mfg index, construction spending, chain store sales, auto sales; Earnings from Barnes & Noble, Kroger, Lululemon, H&R Block
FRIDAY: Employment situation, Fed's Plosser speaks; Earnings from Big Lots

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