Wall Street was set to open higher for a second day on Friday as Group of Seven nations moved to calm markets rattled by Japan's nuclear crisis and oil prices fell after Libya said it would cease military actions.
In a move to reassure markets anxious about the nuclear crisis in quake-ravaged Japan, the Bank of Japan bought billions of dollars to restrain a soaring yen and were followed by U.S. and European central banks.
Brent crude prices reversed course, falling 0.4 percent to about $114 in volatile trading after Libya said it accepted a U.N. resolution for immediate ceasefire and said it would halt all military action against rebels.
The market is going to rally, said Stephen Massocca, managing director at Wedbush Morgan in San Francisco. That (Mideast unrest) quieting down and Japan quieting down will lead to buying.
Financial stocks will be in focus after the Wall Street Journal reported the largest U.S. banks will be notified Friday whether they passed a second round of stress tests, allowing them to raise their dividends.
Banks, industrial, and natural resource stocks rose in premarket trading. JPMorgan Chase & Co
S&P 500 futures rose 15.1 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 119 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures put on 19.25 points.
Japanese engineers conceded that burying a crippled nuclear plant in sand and concrete -- the method used to seal huge leakages from Chernobyl in 1986 -- may be a last resort to prevent a catastrophic radiation release.
Global equities continued to snap back after heavy losses. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares <.FTEU3> was up 0.7 percent, while Japan's Nikkei average <.N225> jumped 2.7 percent.
(Additional reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)