Stocks set to start higher

@CNNMoneyInvest June 26, 2012: 9:11 AM ET
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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- U.S. stocks were poised for a higher start Tuesday, following a report indicating modest improvement in the U.S. housing market. But worries about Europe will likely keep gains in check.

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

European leaders are under pressure to devise a means of backstopping the debt of struggling nations, while also laying the groundwork for growth. Investors are skeptical that Thursday's summit will produce much of substance, and U.S. stocks fell Monday amid global growth pessimism.

"Markets keep looking for quick cures," said Ernie Cecilia, Bryn Mawr Trust's chief investment officer.

Spain and its ailing banking sector remain particularly troublesome for markets. On Monday, Spain officially requested EU loans to support its banks, a number of which were later downgraded by rating agency Moody's.

Early Tuesday, Spain auctioned off more than €3 billion of short-term debt at high yields and slightly lower demand than the prior month's auction. That weighed on European stocks, which fell between 1% and 2%. The yield on the 10-year bond edged up to 6.7%, getting closer to the bailout worry zone of 7%.

The day will end with the finance ministers of France, Germany, Italy and Spain meeting in Paris ahead of this week's summit.

Investors will also be keeping an eye on bank stocks, as they were largely behind Monday's sell-off. In premarket trading, Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM, Fortune 500) were up slightly while Morgan Stanley (MS, Fortune 500) was down.

World markets: European stocks were down in afternoon trading. Britain's FTSE 100 (UKX) dropped 1%. The DAX (DAX) in Germany and France's CAC 40 (CAC40) both fell more than 2%.

Asian markets ended mixed. The Hang Seng (HSI) in Hong Kong rose 0.5%, while the Shanghai Composite (SHCOMP) fell 0.1%. Japan's Nikkei (N225) lost 0.8% after lawmakers approved a plan to double the country's sales tax.

Economy: The S&P/Case-Shiller index for April home prices showed improvement, with annual decline easing to 1.9%. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com expected prices to have dropped 2.5% from the same time last year.

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index for June comes out at 10 a.m. ET. It's expected to decline slightly, to 64 in June from 64.9 in May.

Companies: Shares of Coinstar (CSTR), owner of the Redbox movie rental self-service kiosks, fell more than 2% in premarket trading. After the market closed, the company said its earnings would be hurt by its $100 million acquisition of kiosk operator NCR Corp.

For-profit education company Apollo Group (APOL), which operates the University of Phoenix, released its third-quarter results after Monday's close. While net revenue declined due to lower enrollment, results still beat analysts' expectations.

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

Oil for August delivery rose 7 cents to $79.28 a barrel.

Gold futures for August delivery fell $3 to $1,585.40 an ounce.

Bonds: The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury fell, pushing the yield up to 1.63% from 1.61% late Monday.  To top of page

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,712.49 251.17 1.53%
Nasdaq 4,455.97 73.12 1.67%
S&P 500 1,954.44 27.33 1.42%
Treasuries 2.29 0.06 2.87%
Data as of 1:10pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Apple Inc 104.91 1.92 1.86%
Bank of America Corp... 16.67 0.27 1.65%
AT&T Inc 33.46 -1.04 -3.01%
Facebook Inc 80.29 1.92 2.45%
Microsoft Corp 44.86 0.48 1.08%
Data as of 12:55pm ET
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.94%3.93%
15 yr fixed3.03%3.03%
5/1 ARM3.33%3.27%
30 yr refi4.02%3.99%
15 yr refi3.09%3.07%
Rate data provided
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