Stocks set to open higher

@CNNMoneyInvest May 24, 2012: 9:08 AM ET
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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- U.S. stocks were headed for a modestly higher open Thursday, taking a cue from European markets as they rebounded from the downturn created by the Greek debt crisis.

"We're taking our lead from markets in Europe on the European situation," said David Kelly, chief global strategist at JPMorgan Funds.

Shares of Dow component Hewlett-Packard (HPQ, Fortune 500) shot up 7.5% in premarket trading, a day after the company reported profit and sales that beat forecasts and raised its forecast for the full year. The company also announced plans to cut 27,000 jobs worldwide.

Dow Jones industrial average (INDU), S&P 500 (SPX) and Nasdaq (COMP) futures were all up about 0.3%. Stock futures indicate the possible direction of the markets when they open at 9:30 a.m. ET.

Meanwhile, the Facebook (FB) saga continues as the social media company's IPO has sparked more lawsuits and investigations.

Lead Facebook IPO underwriter Morgan Stanley (MS, Fortune 500) and other underwriters made money on the trading of Facebook shares as prices dropped, sources at one of the underwriters told Fortune.

Worries about Europe's debt crisis and the threat of Greece leaving the eurozone have unnerved investors on both sides of the Atlantic. According to CNNMoney's Fear & Greed Index, investor sentiment has been at an 'extreme fear' level for the past two weeks.

European leaders met Wednesday in an ad hoc summit to address the latest problems with sovereign debt amid growing worries that Greece is moving closer to dropping the euro, and the contagion effects an exit might have on other economies.

The meeting failed to establish any concrete solutions for resolving the sovereign debt crisis or moving forward with Greece.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, "We want Greece to stay in the euro, but we insist that Greece sticks to commitments that it has agreed to."

European stocks rose between 0.6% and 1.4%, rebounding from the prior day's sell-off.

"Pessimism set in ahead of the summit yesterday. What we're seeing is a partial rebound," said Ken Wattret, chief eurozone economist for BNP Paribas in London.

China's manufacturing sector continued to shrink in May, according to a preliminary reading from HSBC's Flash Purchasing Managers' Index.

Worries about weakness in the technology sector was one of the major drags on U.S. markets for much of the trading day Wednesday, although stocks erased hefty losses by the end of the day.

World markets: European stocks were higher in afternoon trading on the day after the leaders' meeting. Britain's FTSE 100 (UKX) gained nearly 1.4%, the DAX (DAX) in Germany added 0.5% and France's CAC 40 (CAC40) rose 1.0%.

Asian markets closed mostly lower following HSBC's preliminary reading on Chinese manufacturing. The Shanghai Composite (SHCOMP) lost 0.5% while the Hang Seng (HSI) in Hong Kong closed off 0.6%. Bucking the trend was Japan's Nikkei (N225), which inched up 0.1% at the close.

Economy: The number of people filing for first-time unemployment benefits dipped 2,000 to 370,000 in the latest week, the Labor Department said Thursday. The number was in line with economists' forecasts.

Companies: Warehouse retailer Costco (COST, Fortune 500) reported improved earnings that were slightly better than forecasts early Thursday, on revenue that was roughly in line with estimates. Shares of Costco gained 0.9% in premarket trading on the report.

But shares of luxury retailer Tiffany & Co. (TIF) tumbled 7.5% in premarket trading after it reported lower earnings that missed forecasts, despite improved revenue.

Shares of data storage firm NetApp (NTAP, Fortune 500) plunged 16% in premarket trading Thursday after the company gave fiscal first quarter earnings guidance well below the consensus estimates. The company did report better than forecast fiscal quarter earnings growth though.

Facebook's stock finally posted gains on Wednesday, rising 3.2% to $32. But the social media company is still down at least 15% from its closing price of $38.23 on May 18. Questions continue to be raised about the information made available to investors ahead of the IPO.

On Wednesday, three investors announced they were suing Facebook and lead underwriter Morgan Stanley (MS, Fortune 500) for withholding negative information about the social network's IPO. The Senate Banking Committee, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and the state of Massachusetts are also scrutinizing the way the IPO was handled.

Currencies and commodities: The dollar rose against the euro and the British pound, but was lower versus the Japanese yen.

Oil for July delivery rose 63 cents to $90.53 a barrel, moving back above the benchmark after falling below $90 for the first time since November during trading Wednesday.

Gold futures for June delivery rose $17.20 to $1,565.60 an ounce.

Bonds: The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury edged lower, with the yield rising to 1.76%.  To top of page

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,122.01 15.31 0.09%
Nasdaq 4,569.62 -1.02 -0.02%
S&P 500 2,000.12 0.10 0.00%
Treasuries 2.36 -0.03 -1.25%
Data as of 7:38pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.20 -0.13 -0.80%
Apple Inc 102.13 1.24 1.23%
Facebook Inc 74.63 -1.33 -1.75%
Yahoo! Inc 38.18 0.39 1.03%
Pfizer Inc 29.49 0.28 0.96%
Data as of 4:02pm ET
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed4.08%4.25%
15 yr fixed3.17%3.23%
5/1 ARM3.30%3.37%
30 yr refi4.06%4.19%
15 yr refi3.16%3.18%
Rate data provided
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