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Stocks ready to rebound

Futures advance after 2-day slide on Wall Street. HP turns in solid performance while fresh concerns over Freddie Mac surface.

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By Aaron Smith, CNNMoney.com staff writer

The presidential candidate I believe will have the most positive influence on my pocketbook is:
  • McCain
  • Obama
  • Neither

NEW YORK(CNNMoney.com) -- Stock futures rose early Wednesday as solid earnings from Hewlett-Packard overshadowed financial sector woes.

A little more than two hours before the start of trading, Nasdaq and S&P futures were higher and suggesting early gains for Wall Street.

Stocks fell for a second straight session Tuesday, marking one of the worst two-day declines of the summer. Disappointing economic data, higher oil prices and a string of weak earnings reports in the retail sector all weighed on investors.

Oil: Crude futures kept rising Wednesday, but gains were slight as investors awaited a report U.S. crude and gas stockpiles.

U.S. crude for September delivery rose 24 cents to $114.77 barrel in electronic trading.

Hewlett-Packard: Tech shares could get a boost after HP (HPQ, Fortune 500) reported solid quarterly results that topped Wall Street's estimates.

The company posted a 14% jump in third-quarter profit after the market close Tuesday.

Mortgage giants: Fannie Mae (FNM, Fortune 500) and Freddie Mac (FRE, Fortune 500) remain in focus amid concerns that a government rescue of the two firms is inevitable.

Freddie Mac on Tuesday was forced to pay its steepest borrowing premium in 10 years in a $3 billion auction of its debt, according to published reports.

The high cost of debt is raising fresh concerns about the mortgage giant's ability to withstand the housing and credit crisis without government help, the reports said.

Other markets: Stocks in Asia ended higher, with shares in Shanghai surging amid speculation that the Chinese government is planning a stimulus package. European shares gained in midday trading.

The dollar rose against the euro and the yen. To top of page

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