Tue, Jul 9, 2013 3:18 PM EDT 0:54
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services is downgrading Italy's credit, saying the country's economic prospects are getting weaker. A federal judge has made a tentative ruling that would let the U.S. government pursue its $5 billion civil lawsuit accusing Standard & Poor's of defrauding investors by inflating credit ratings prior to the financial crisis. Stock index futures rose, putting the S&P 500 on track for its third straight advance in the wake of recent better-than-expected payrolls reports and ahead of the start of earnings season after the close. The benchmark S&P index rose 1 percent in the prior trading session on the strength of the jobs report. Dow component Alcoa Inc kicked off earnings season after the close.