Stocks pointing to third day of gains


U.S. stock index futures are pointing to a higher open as the market looks to the possibility of a third straight winning session based on progress in fiscal-cliff negotiations.

The S&P 100 futures are up 3.50 points to 1444.60, while the Nasdaq futures are up 10.75 points to 2712.25. The gains follow advances in overseas markets.

European indexes are higher after Standard & Poor's issued a surprise upgrade of Greece's credit rating to B-, boosting government bond prices in that country to their highest levels since March. Germany's DAX, France's CAC-40, and the U.K. FTSE are all showing healthy gains this morning.

Asian markets were particularly strong overnight, with Japan's Nikkei spiking 2.39 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index up 0.57 percent. The Shanghai Composite ended flat but had seen huge gains in recent days.

Commodities are mixed, with oil higher by 0.60 points to 88.53. Gold is bouncing slightly by  4.30 points to 1673.80 while silver is about flat at 31.56. Both precious metals sold off hard in yesterday's stock rally.

Currency markets are favoring U.S. equities so far. The euro is stronger again against the dollar at 1.3297 this morning, while the Japanese yen continues to drop.  

In company-specific news, FedEx is up in the pre-market after missing on quarterly earnings estimates but beating revenue forecasts. Oracle is trading higher after beating exceeding quarterly expectations on its top and bottom lines in the post-market yesterday. Knight Capital is up after agreeing to be purchased by Getco for $1.4 billion.

Among other companies releasing quarterly results today are General Mills and Navistar. Bed Bath & Beyond and Jabil will report after the closing bell.

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