Futures higher on fiscal cliff deal hopes

Optimism that a budget agreement is close could extend equities' rally.

By Benzinga Dec 18, 2012 9:24AM

zurbar abe fotostockU.S. equity futures were up slightly in early premarket trading as politicians continue to work towards a budget deal. Monday evening, House Speaker John Boehner called President Obama's new proposal better, but still not completely balanced. President Obama had changed the threshold on high-income earners to $400,000 per year from $200,000 per year.


In other news, data released in the U.K. indicated that inflation was subdued, with core CPI coming in below expectations at 2.6%. Also, the Reserve Bank of Australia released its minutes from its last meeting.


Company news

  • Eli Lilly (LLY) authorized a $1.5 billion stock buyback program.
  • AIG (AIG) raised $6.45 billion on the sale of its stake of AIA.
  • Apple (AAPL) failed in its attempts to ban 26 Samsung devices.

Asian markets

Asian shares were mixed overnight with the Nikkei continuing to trade higher following the election results in Japan. The Japanese Nikkei Index rose 0.96%, while the Shanghai Composite Index rallied 0.10% and the Hang Seng Index fell 0.08%. Also, the Korean Kospi rallied 0.51% and Australian shares rallied 0.49%.

 

European markets

European shares were higher overnight on global optimism. The Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.68%. Meanwhile, the German DAX rallied 0.30% and the French CAC fell 0.16% while U.K. shares edged up 0.24%.

 

Commodities

Commodities were also higher, as belief that the U.S. would avoid falling into recession in 2013 increased demand. WTI crude futures rose 0.61% to $87.73 per barrel. Copper futures fell 0.33% to $3.6540. Gold was near flat and silver futures moved up 0.64% to $32.49 per troy ounce.

 

Currencies

Currency markets were generally stable overnight. The EUR/USD was higher at 1.3180 and the dollar was lower against the yen at 83.84. Overall, the Dollar Index dropped 0.12%.

 

Economics

On the economics calendar Tuesday, the U.S. current account deficit will be released, alongside Redbook retail sales and the NAHB Housing Market Index. Later in the day, Federal Reserve's Fisher will speak. Fisher is a noted hawk.

 

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