US futures rise ahead of housing, consumer reports

AP News
Posted: Sep 25, 2012 8:48 AM
US futures rise ahead of housing, consumer reports

NEW YORK (AP) — Stock futures rose ahead of a pair of reports Tuesday that are expected to reveal a consumer more optimistic about the economy and a housing market on the mend.

Dow Jones industrial futures added 35 points to 13,524. The broader S&P futures rose 3.5 points to 1,454.90. Nasdaq futures tacked on 10.25 points to 2,848.50.

The Conference Board posts its monthly consumer confidence index at 10 a.m. Eastern and economists are looking for better numbers for August and September. They predict the index will reach 63.0 in September, compared with 60.6 in August, according to FactSet.

The index receives a lot of attention because consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of all U.S. economic activity. This year, the index has been a rollercoaster.

The index fell for four straight months before rebounding in July.

Also, the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index is expected to rise as well, following stronger-than-expected earnings from home builders and a string of solid federal housing reports.

World markets fell on concern over Europe's debt crisis. Standard & Poor's lowered its growth forecasts for the eurozone Tuesday.

The biggest source of concern, according to the ratings agency, was Spain and Italy. It forecasts a 1.4 percent contraction in Spain next year, more than twice the 0.6 percent drop it earlier estimated.

By late morning in Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 fell 0.1 percent to 5,835.15 while Germany's DAX fell 0.4 percent to 7,383.62 and France's CAC-40 dropped 0.5 percent to 3,480.28.