Stock index futures rise; Microsoft eyed

By @ibtimes on

Stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Wall Street on Tuesday, with futures for the S&P 500 up 0.2 percent, Dow Jones futures up 0.1 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures up 0.1 percent at 0818 GMT.

Microsoft is close to buying Skype Technologies in am $8.5 billion deal, a source familiar with the situation said, underscoring the technology giant's growing ambition to plug a hole in its mobile offerings.

U.S. crude oil futures were down 92 cents at $101.67 a barrel but off their session low as the euro pared losses against the dollar on reports a deal for Greece could be sealed as early as June. A senior Greek finance ministry official told Reuters the reports were not true.

European stocks reversed an early dip to be up 0.6 percent, led by a rebound in banking stocks such as BNP Paribas and ING .

China posted its biggest trade surplus in four months in April, swinging from a trade deficit in the first quarter after exports hit a record on stronger global demand despite initial signs of a pinch from Japan's earthquake and nuclear crisis.

TSMC <2330.TW> and UMC <2303.TW>, the world's two biggest contract chipmakers, posted slower sales growth in April, after Japan's earthquake brought a supply shortfall for key materials in producing smartphones and tablets.

Analysts expected sales in May and June would continue to grow, in line with company forecasts, and said impact from a potential water shortage would be small on the two chipmakers.

Morgan Stanley said it could lose up to $240 million in a lawsuit filed by Taiwan's China Development Industrial Bank (CDIB) over a subprime mortgage investment.

On the earnings front, investors awaited results from Dean Foods and Walt Disney , while on the economic front, the market expected import-export prices for April, the retail sales index of department and chain store sales for May, as well as U.S. wholesale inventories data.

U.S. stocks rose on Monday as commodity-related shares rebounded from last week's collapse, masking deeper doubts about what will sustain the market's long-term strength.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 45.94 points, or 0.4 percent, at 12,684.68. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was up 6.09 points, or 0.5 percent, at 1,346.29. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 15.69 points, or 06 percent, at 2,843.25. (Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Dan Lalor)

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