(By Balachander) U.S. stock-index futures pointed to a sharply higher open on the Wall Street as "constructive" budget talks to resolve the fiscal crisis buoyed sentiment.
Mini Dow Industrial Average futures rose 90 points to 12,660. The Nasdaq futures advanced 24.25 points to 2,557.25. Standard and Poor's 500 futures gained 11.60 points to 1,371.40.
On Friday, U.S. stocks ended in green following initial round of negotiations at the White House over avoiding the looming "fiscal cliff".
President Barack Obama has pushed for higher taxes on wealthy Americans to address the fiscal cliff of roughly $600 billion in spending cuts and tax increases that could hit economic growth. Obama held talks with Democratic and Republican congressional leaders today.
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In a statement, the White House said the President and the leadership had a constructive meeting and agreed to do everything possible to find a solution that averts the so-called "fiscal cliff," and to work together to find a balanced approach to reduce deficit that includes both revenues and cuts in spending and encourages long-term economic and job growth.
In a holiday-shortened trading week, investors are likely to focus on data including: existing home sales, housing starts, weekly jobless claims, consumer sentiment survey by Reuters and the University of Michigan and Conference Board (CB) leading index. The markets will be shut for Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday.
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At 10 am ET on Monday, the National Association of Realtors may report that existing home sales for October remained unchanged at 4.75 million from last month. The National Association of Home Builders housing market index is expected to remain unchanged at 41.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: CSCO, LOW, TSN, FLR
In corporate news, Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) gained 1.56 percent in premarket. The company late Sunday announced its plan to acquire cloud networking company Meraki Inc. for $1.2 billion in cash to expand its software-centric services.
Lowe's Companies Inc. (NYSE: LOW) rose 4.60 percent in premarket after the home improvement retailer posted a jump in quarterly earnings amid growth in sales. Net earnings surged 76 percent to $396 million, including charges.
Tyson Foods Inc. (NYSE: TSN): added 3.38 percent in premarket after the Springdale, Arkansas-based company reported quarterly profit that nearly doubled from last year as margins improved, while sales fell as volume declined at its beef and pork segments. Earnings topped market expectations, but sales trailed consensus.
Fluor Corp. (NYSE: FLR) shed 1.58 percent in premarket after the professional services company said it expects a pre-tax charge of roughly $400 million in the fourth quarter related to a dispute in connection with a offshore wind farm project in the United Kingdom.
Agilent (NYSE: A), Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: BRCD), Krispy Kreme (NYSE: KKD) and Shoe Carnival Inc. (NASDAQ: SCVL) are due to release their quarterly results after the market close.
European markets traded sharply higher, with Germany's DAX up 1.50 percent to trade at 7,054.48. France's CAC40 added 1.50 percent to trade at 3,391.78. U.K.'s FTSE 100 gained 1.23 percent to trade at 5,674.64.
Among Asian markets, China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index added 0.11 percent to finish at 2,016.98. Japan's Nikkei 225 jumped 1.43 percent to end at 9,153.20. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index added 0.49 percent to end at 21,262.06. India's BSE Sensex ended at 18,339.00, up 0.16 percent.
Commodity & Currency Scan
Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil futures added 1.23 percent to $87.99 per barrel. Gold futures rose 0.54 percent to $1,724 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro advanced 0.20 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.2769, and the British pound inched up 0.13 percent to 1.5899. The dollar dipped 0.17 percent against the Japanese yen to 81.1800.