US Stock Futures Point To Higher Open As Congress Inches Close To Agreement On Budget, Debt Ceiling

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NYSE Jan 2013 2
New York Stock Exchange.

U.S. stock index futures suggest a higher opening to markets on Tuesday, as Congressional leaders inch closer to an agreement to end the federal government shutdown and to raise the debt ceiling ahead of the Oct. 17 deadline.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.07 percent, futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index were up 0.2 percent and those on the Nasdaq 100 Index were up 0.08 percent.

“Hopes of a deal in Washington continue to buoy equity prices. Simultaneously, the shutdown has created an economic data vacuum which allows any weakness to be explained away by the shutdown,” Mike O’Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading, was quoted as saying by Market Watch. “Despite the slow start to the [corporate earnings] season, the Beltway betting on a fiscal fix continues to dominate equity trading.”

In Europe, markets traded higher on Tuesday, as investors remained optimistic about an imminent deal in the U.S. Congress and after positive economic sentiment data from the euro zone, particularly out of Germany. The Stoxx Europe 600 index was up 0.7 percent, while London’s FTSE 100 was up 0.78 percent, Germany’s DAX-30 was up 0.73 percent and France's CAC-40 was up 0.53 percent.

The ZEW economic sentiment for Germany climbed 3.2 points to reach 52.8 in October -- its highest mark since April 2010 -- suggesting that financial market experts remain optimistic and that investors are focused on the recent uptick in the German industrial sector. The rise in the index was better than a consensus forecast of a rise to a reading of 51. Economic expectations for the euro zone marginally increased in October, coming in slightly below consensus, with the ZEW indicator gaining 0.5 points to reach 59.1 points.

The UK’s consumer price index, or CPI, grew 2.2 percent in September on a monthly basis, compared to 2 percent in August. On a yearly basis, CPI grew 2.7 percent in September, the same as in August.

In Asia, markets were trading up on Tuesday, amid stronger signs of a resolution to the political impasse in Washington. 

Japan’s Nikkei ended up 0.26 percent while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.98 percent. In China, the Shanghai Composite index lost 0.20 percent while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.51 percent. South Korea’s KOSPI Composite index added 1.02 percent while India’s BSE Sensex recovered from being down 0.43 percent in late-afternoon trade to close up 0.09 percent.

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