Futures point to higher open on Wall Street

on February 09 2010 6:32 AM

Stock futures rose on Tuesday, pointing to a higher start for Wall Street after sharp falls in the previous session, but with some caution expected to persist over euro zone debt concerns.

European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet is cutting short a trip to Australia to attend a special European Union summit, prompting market speculation initiatives are in the works to help resolve Greece's debt problems.

Boeing Co flew its twice-delayed 747-8 Freighter for the first time on Monday, a significant milestone in the history of the legendary 747 family and a step that could bolster the credibility of the world's second-largest plane maker.

The government of Ghana has blocked the estimated $4 billion sale of a stake in its Jubilee oil field, foiling months of talks between potential buyer Exxon Mobil Corp and the stake's owner, Kosmos Energy LLC, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

The New York Stock Exchange earned $151 million, or 58 cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended December 31. Net revenue fell 6 percent year-on-year to $640 million but was up for the third consecutive quarter.

Challenges in Walt Disney's film division and weak attendance at its theme parks are expected to weigh on quarterly results, although analysts expect a stronger 2010 as the media giant's acquisition of Marvel begins to pay off. Analysts expect the firm to post fourth-quarter earnings per share (EPS) of $0.39 against $0.41 a year ago.

The world's biggest soft drinks maker Coca-Cola is seen posting fourth-quarter EPS of $0.66 from $0.64 a year earlier.

Homebuilder Pulte Homes, internet search firm Baidu and brewer Molson Coors Brewing Company will also report quarterly earnings.

Diversified U.S. manufacturer Textron meets with investors to discuss its expectations for the rest of 2010. The world's largest maker of corporate aircraft last week surprised Wall Street with a lower-than-expected profit target, as demand for business jets remains week.

The Dow industrials <.DJI> closed below the 10,000 mark for the first time since November on Monday, as investors sold bank shares due to heightened concerns about the euro zone's sovereign debt troubles.

Shares in Electronic Arts Inc fell 7.9 percent to $16.11 in extended trade after the company reported quarterly results.

Harman International rose 2.8 percent after the bell as the company reported results.

Hartford Financial dipped 3.2 percent after the bell as the company reported results.

In Europe, the FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> index of leading European shares edged up as stronger metals prices supported mining stocks and banks gained ground. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei stock average <.N225> hit a two-month closing low with heightened concerns about the euro zone's sovereign debt woes continuing to eat away at investor confidence.

On the macroeconomic front, December wholesale inventories are expected to have risen half a percentage point, after jumping 1.5 percent in November, the fastest rate in over five years. Rising inventories imply businesses are preparing for a healthier economy.

President Barack Obama's call for a healthcare summit including both his fellow Democrats and Republicans sets the stage for a final push to get stalled legislation through Congress, but skeptical Republicans said on Monday the only solution is to start over.

(Reporting by Harpreet Bhal)

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