Stocks set for opening gains

  @CNNMoneyInvest October 2, 2012: 9:11 AM ET
sp500 futures 853

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U.S. stock futures were modestly higher Tuesday as investors remained cautious.

European markets were mixed in morning trading, as worries about the health of Spain's banks and the possibility of a bailout dominated. Moody's said late Monday that Spain's banks may face a greater capital shortfall than the government estimated last week. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.1%, the DAX in Germany gained 0.3% and France's CAC 40 remained flat.

Meanwhile, in Asia, Japan's Nikkei ended down 0.1%. Markets in Shanghai and Hong Kong were closed for a holiday. On Tuesday, Australia's central bank cut its interest rate to 3.25% over concerns about China's slowing growth.

Related: Fear & Greed Index

In the United States, automakers will release September sales figures throughout the trading day. The first was Chrysler, which reported a 12% year-over-year increase in U.S. sales last month. It was also the best September sales since 2007.

U.S. stocks pared gains Monday afternoon to finish mixed following comments from Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke.

Related: Economists say fiscal cliff a serious threat, but unlikely

Are we better off 4 years after crisis?

Companies: Shares of clothing retailer Express (EXPR) sank more than 17% in premarket trading after the company lowered its third-quarter expectations. CEO Michael Weiss blamed "an abrupt change in traffic" of shoppers in September.

A judge ruled Monday that Samsung should be allowed to sell its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computer in the United States, the latest development in a long-running patent dispute between the electronics maker and Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500).

Shares of Yahoo (YHOO, Fortune 500) rose more than 1%, a day after CEO Marissa Mayer gave birth to a baby boy. She previously said she planned to return to work within a few weeks of giving birth.

Related: Ackman tells mall operator: Sell!

General Growth Properties' (GGP) stock gained nearly 2%, a day after influential hedge fund manager Bill Ackman turned up the heat on the mall operator to sell itself to Simon Property Group (SPG).

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

Oil for November delivery rose 20 cents to $92.68 a barrel.

Gold futures for December delivery fell $1.90 to $1,781.40 an ounce.

Bonds: The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury fell, pushing the yield up to 1.64% from 1.62% late Monday. To top of page

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