Stock futures soar on Europe hopes, retail stocks gain

By @ibtimes on

Stock index futures soared on Monday on optimism over the latest round of proposals out of Europe designed to corral the growing euro zone debt crisis.

Germany and France were exploring radical ways to integrate euro zone countries in order to impose tighter budget control, European Union sources told Reuters over the weekend.

Sentiment was also boosted after an Italian newspaper report suggested the International Monetary Fund was preparing a rescue plan for Italy worth up to 600 billion euros. The report was dismissed by an IMF spokesperson.

But some analysts saw any gains mostly as a technical rebound after Wall Street came off its worst week in two months. The S&P 500 fell 4.7 percent, recording the worst weekly losses in two months. The Dow was off 4.8 percent for the week, and the Nasdaq fell 5.1 percent.

An oversold trading opportunity is likely pending this week, given short-term indicators are increasingly oversold. But the longer-term technical background is increasingly at risk, said Robert Sluymer, analyst at RBC Capital Markets in New York.

S&P 500 futures jumped 32.2 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 gained 244 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 49.75 points.

European stocks <.FTEU3> rose 2.8 percent early Monday, led by shares of financial institutions on renewed hopes about an easing of the debt crisis.

U.S. President Barack Obama will press EU officials on Monday to reach a definitive solution to their sovereign debt crisis, which is emerging as a major 2012 U.S. election worry.

Also boosting the market's mood, a trade group said U.S. retailers racked up a record $52.4 billion in sales over the Thanksgiving weekend, a 16.4 percent jump from a year ago.

Shares of Best Buy Co Inc rose 5.3 percent to $26.50 in light premarket trade. Wal-Mart Stores Inc was up 2 percent to $58.

Materials stocks were higher as commodity prices rose. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold shares jumped 5.7 percent to $35.75 and Alcoa Inc rose 3.5 percent to $9.26. Oil futures jumped more than 3 percent, while gold rose above $1,700 to its highest level in a week.

The Commerce Department releases new home sales at 10 a.m. EST. Economists forecast a total of 315,000 annualized units, compared with 313,000 units in September.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago releases its Midwest Manufacturing Index for October at 8:30 a.m. EST. The index read 85.2 in September.

(Reporting by Angela Moon; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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