Stock index futures rebounded on Tuesday, a day after the S&P 500 hit its lowest level in over two months, taking out important technical levels as investors grew more bearish on the economy.
Helping to put a floor on commodity prices, the dollar fell to a one-month low against a basket of currencies after a Chinese official said the greenback would continue to weaken versus other major currencies.
The S&P 500 has fallen 5.5 percent since a recent high at the start of May and closed at its lowest level since March 18, having fallen through its April low in the last session. Some investors look for further volatility and a possible move lower before equities stabilize.
Certainly yesterday's close indicated that from a technical standpoint this market is going to work its way lower before we stabilize, said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Avalon Partners in New York.
S&P 500 futures rose 5.3 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 68 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 9.5 points.
Cardillo expects the S&P 500 to hold support at 1,275 but cautioned that a move below that could trigger more selling. Analysts at Brown Brothers Harriman in New York look for a decline to 1,230.
I think the market is trying to focus on whether or not this is a temporary decline in economic activity, or is this going to mushroom into something worse, said Cardillo, referring to the recent batch of weak economic data.
European stocks edged higher, with the FTSEurofirst 300 index <.FTEU3> up 0.2 percent, rebounding from an 11-week closing low and after a four-session losing run. <.EU>
Brent crude fell 0.3 percent but traded above $114.19 a barrel, while U.S. gold and copper futures climbed, with the precious metal boosted by the soft dollar and safe-haven investors.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is due to speak on the U.S. economic outlook at 3:45 p.m. EDT to a bankers conference in Atlanta. Fed officials have said recent data was a disappointment, and one suggested it could delay the Fed's exit from its extremely easy monetary policy. Bernanke is scheduled to start shortly before the market close.
The International Monetary Fund is open to delaying Greece's repayment of its international loans but believes a major restructuring of its debt would create serious problems in the euro zone, an IMF official said.
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(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)