Stocks: Europe enthusiasm growing

September 28, 2011: 8:48 AM ET

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- U.S. stocks headed for a higher open Thursday as investors were heartened by the latest positive development in Europe's debt crisis.

The Finnish Parliament approved the proposed overhaul of the European Financial Stability Fund, which was created last July to provide low-cost loans to struggling EU countries. So far, eight of the 17 eurozone members have ratified the proposal.

Dow Jones industrial average (INDU), S&P 500 (SPX) and Nasdaq (COMP) futures were up between 0.6% and 0.9% ahead of the opening bell. Stock futures indicate the possible direction of the markets when they open at 9:30 a.m. ET.

"Given how serious European leaders are about preventing contagion and how open they have been with their commitment to keeping Greece in the euro, a deal certainly appears to be in the works whether they admit to it or not," said Kathy Lien, director of currency research at GFT, in a client note.

On Tuesday, stocks opened higher and rallied for most of the day. The Dow was up as much as 300 points in the afternoon, amid hopes that European leaders will take bolder steps to resolve the long-standing sovereign debt problems.

The fact that Greece was able to pass a controversial property tax measure also propped markets up for much of the afternoon.

Europe's debt crisis: 5 things you need to know

The advance lost momentum in the final hour of trading, after a report in the Financial Times raised questions about a proposed second bailout for Greece, underscoring the fragility of the situation.

"The bottom line is the market is still looking for some concrete news out of euro land," Peter Cardillo, chief market economist Rockwell global capital.

Economy: A government report on durable goods showed orders were down 0.1% in August after rising 4.1% in the prior month. Economists had expected that orders ticked up 0.1% in August.

A weekly report on crude inventories is also on tap for Wednesday.

Companies: Family Dollar (FDO, Fortune 500) beat analysts' expectations, reporting quarterly earnings of 66 cents per share.

Darden Restaurants (DRI, Fortune 500) also released quarterly results in line with analysts' expectations.

Shares of Amazon (AMZN, Fortune 500) were higher ahead of the opening bell as investors await the company's latest news. At 10 a.m. ET, it is expected that the company will unveil the Amazon Kindle Fire, a 7-inch reading-focused tablet with a color display.

U.S. banks continued a three day rally. JPMorgan Chase (JPM, Fortune 500), Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500), Goldman Sachs (GS, Fortune 500), and Citigroup (C, Fortune 500) were all higher ahead of the opening bell.

World markets: European stocks were lower in afternoon trading. Britain's FTSE 100 (UKX) shed 0.33%, the DAX (DAX) in Germany edged lower 0.34% and France's CAC 40 (CAC40) slipped to 0.5%.

Asian markets ended mixed. The Shanghai Composite (SHCOMP) dropped 0.95% and the Hang Seng (HSI) in Hong Kong fell 0.66%, while Japan's Nikkei (N225) rose 0.7%.

Currencies and commodities: The dollar gained strength against the British pound, but lost ground against the euro and Japanese yen.

Oil for November delivery slipped 72 cents to $83.73 a barrel.

Gold futures for December delivery rose $5.90 to $1,658.40 an ounce.

Bonds: The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury fell, pushing the yield up to 2.02% from 1.90% late Tuesday.  To top of page

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 32,627.97 -234.33 -0.71%
Nasdaq 13,215.24 99.07 0.76%
S&P 500 3,913.10 -2.36 -0.06%
Treasuries 1.73 0.00 0.12%
Data as of 6:29am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Ford Motor Co 8.29 0.05 0.61%
Advanced Micro Devic... 54.59 0.70 1.30%
Cisco Systems Inc 47.49 -2.44 -4.89%
General Electric Co 13.00 -0.16 -1.22%
Kraft Heinz Co 27.84 -2.20 -7.32%
Data as of 2:44pm ET
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.80%3.88%
15 yr fixed3.20%3.23%
5/1 ARM3.84%3.88%
30 yr refi3.82%3.93%
15 yr refi3.20%3.23%
Rate data provided
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