Stocks: Investors await Europe's latest move

@CNNMoneyInvest December 7, 2011: 8:44 AM ET

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- U.S. stocks were poised for a higher open Wednesday, as the European sentiment weathervane pointed positive.

The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU), S&P 500 (SPX) and Nasdaq (COMP) futures rose. Stock futures indicate the possible direction of the markets when they open at 9:30 a.m. ET.

"There's a lot of attention with the hope that something will come out of Europe that will provide some sort of solution," Bruce McCain, who is chief investment strategist with Key Private Bank, said. "It's probably wishful thinking at best to think there will be a major resolution at some single meeting."

U.S. stocks ended mostly higher Tuesday, as investors remain optimistic that a lasting solution to the eurozone debt crisis could be announced this week.

The Dow's gains accelerated after the Financial Times said European officials are working on a last-minute proposal to combine the resources of an existing bailout fund, with one that is planned for next year to create the financial "bazooka" that investors have been seeking.

S&P to Europe: The time is now!

According to the FT, officials are considering allowing the €440 billion European Financial Stability Facility to continue running alongside the €500 billion European Stability Mechanism, that goes into effect next year. In addition, the funds could be further supplemented by contributions from eurozone nations to the IMF, the report said.

The report boosted hopes that European Union leaders will announce both short-term and long-term solutions to the eurozone debt crisis at a summit later this week.

Meanwhile, the European Central Bank is widely expected to cut interest rates at its policy meeting on Thursday.

World markets: European stocks were higher in midday trading. Britain's FTSE 100 (UKX) ticked up 0.7%, the DAX (DAX) in Germany gained 0.9% and France's CAC 40 (CAC40) rose 1.2%.

Asian markets ended higher. The Shanghai Composite (SHCOMP) edged up 0.3%, the Hang Seng (HSI) in Hong Kong added 1.6% and Japan's Nikkei (N225) jumped 1.7%.

Economy: The Federal Reserve will release data on consumer credit for the month of October on Wednesday. Analysts surveyed by expect October's consumer credit figure to stand at $7 billion, down from $7.4 billion in September.

Companies: Shares of Citigroup (C, Fortune 500) fell 1% after CEO Vikram Pandit said late Tuesday that the banking giant would lay off roughly 4,500 employees over the next few month.

Ahead of the opening bell, shares of retailer Talbots (TLB) skyrocketed 83% after it said it had received a bid from buyout firm Sycamore Partners.

Early Wednesday, retailer JC Penny (JCP, Fortune 500) announced it would buy a stake in Martha Stewart's franchise, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSO). The retail giant said it would invest $38.5 million.

Shares of Monsanto (MON, Fortune 500) rose nearly 2% after the agriculture company raised its first quarter earnings-per-share guidance.

Vail Resorts (MTN) will report its quarterly results before the opening bell on Wednesday. Analysts surveyed by expect the firm to report a loss of $1.54 per share, after it lost $1.20 per share a year earlier.

Apparel company Pacific Sunwear (PSUN) will report results after the closing bell, and is expected to post a loss of 14 cents a share after losing 7 cents per share in the prior year.

Currencies and commodities: The dollar fell against the euro and the British pound, but was flat against the Japanese yen.

Oil for January delivery fell 24 cents to $101.04 a barrel.

Gold futures for February delivery fell $2.40 to $1,732.40 an ounce.

Bonds: The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury held steady, with the yield little changed at 2.09% late Tuesday.  To top of page

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 25,090.48 -84.83 -0.34%
Nasdaq 7,746.38 -14.66 -0.19%
S&P 500 2,779.66 -2.83 -0.10%
Treasuries 2.92 0.00 0.00%
Data as of 4:24am ET
Company Price Change % Change
AT&T Inc 33.15 0.63 1.94%
Bank of America Corp... 29.28 -0.22 -0.75%
General Electric Co 13.30 -0.34 -2.49%
Ford Motor Co 11.88 -0.01 -0.08%
Range Resources Corp... 15.98 -0.17 -1.05%
Data as of Jun 15
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15 yr fixed3.89%3.89%
5/1 ARM4.22%4.14%
30 yr refi4.43%4.45%
15 yr refi3.87%3.88%
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