U.S. stock-market futures got a lift on Monday, helped by upbeat economic data out of China over the weekend and news that Greece passed its 2013 budget.
A holiday in the U.S. could weigh on volumes.
Among corporates, Jefferies Group and Titanium Metals Corp. each shot up in the premarket on deal news and home builders D.R. Horton Inc. and Beazer Homes USA Inc. posted results.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJZ2 +0.28% rose 25 points to 12,789, while those for the Standard & Poor’s 500 index SPZ2 +0.35% rose 4 points to 1,379.70.
Futures for the Nasdaq 100 index NDZ2 +0.50% rose 10.5 points to 2,591.
Week Ahead: Retail-sales data
Big corporate earnings and key economic data are out in the week ahead. MarketWatch’s Polya Lesova reports on Markets Hub.
Asia stocks stumbled on mixed data. Japan reported that the economy shrank last quarter. But China said over the weekend that its trade surplus widened more than expected and exports also beat forecasts. Read: Japan stumbles, China rises in wake of data
Also: Japan’s economy shrinks 0.9% in July-September
“The news out of China (trade, exports reaching a five-month high) and Greece is positive and may overshadow the fiscal-cliff fear,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital.
“However, today’s volume is likely to be lighter than usual due to the Veterans Day festivity. We are looking for a mixed to steady session,” he said in emailed comments.
U.S. stocks are expected to zigzag this week, with negotiations over automatic spending reductions, and whether the U.S. will go over the so-called fiscal cliff, the chief concern of investors. Read: U.S. stocks to follow erratic ‘fiscal cliff’ path
Wall Street stocks finished with modest gains last Friday but the S&P 500 and SPX +0.17% Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA +0.03% indexes suffered their worst week since June 1 as measured by weekly percentage drops, down 2.1% and 2.4%, respectively. Read: Current drop echoes 1987 crash prelude
Greece in focus
Bond markets and government offices are closed in the U.S. on Monday for the Veterans Day holiday, and the data calendar is empty.
Helping put the focus outside the U.S., news that Greece passed its 2013 budget ahead of a meeting of finance ministers due later in the day cheered some investors.
The budget passage marks another key step in releasing a tranche of aid payments needed to boost the country’s finances. Read: Greece passes 2013 budget, as required for aid
The next crunch point for Greece is Friday, when €5 billion ($6.4 billion) of bonds mature, said Fawad Razaqzada, market strategist at GFT Markets, in emailed comments. “A default at this stage seems highly unlikely, but markets can’t be blamed for not liking the uncertainty that once again is back in play,” he said.
European stocks moved off the flat line to edge higher, helped by gains for U.S. futures. The dollar was trading unchanged and crude and gold both rose.
Deals and home builders
Shares of Titanium Metals TIE +42.87% jumped 40% in premarket trading. Late Friday, the company said it has agreed to be bought by Precision Castparts Corp. PCP +0.66% for $2.9 billion in cash. Read: Precision Castparts to acquire Titanium Metals
Shares of Jefferies JEF +19.06% jumped 22% on news that Leucadia National Corp. LUK +1.24% will acquire the shares of the investment bank that it doesn’t already own. Read: Leucadia buying Jefferies; Handler to be CEO
D.R. Horton DHI +2.91% fiscal fourth-quarter net income nearly tripled and the company said its year-end backlog was the biggest since fiscal 2007. Read: D.R. Horton Q4 net nearly triples, revenue up 21%
Beazer Homes BZH -2.12% posted a wider fiscal fourth-quarter net loss on a stronger-than-expected 11% revenue gain. Read: Beazer Homes’ loss widens, sales up double-digits