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Stock futures point higher ahead of open

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[March 10, 2009]  NEW YORK (AP) -- Wall Street appeared headed for a rebound Tuesday, with stock futures pointing higher after weeks of unrelenting selling.

The gains in U.S. futures follow an advance on most overseas markets, as investors around the world cherry-pick for bargains among battered stocks.

RestaurantWith the major indexes losing more than 25 percent so far this year, and trading at levels not seen in more than 11 years, a bounce is to be expected. The question is whether the market can sustain any sort of advance. With few economic and corporate reports this week, analysts expect the market to waver as it searches for a direction.

The lone economic report on Tuesday will come from the Commerce Department, which releases data on wholesale trade inventories for January at 10 a.m. Eastern time.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will speak before the Council of Foreign Relations on overhauling the U.S. bank regulatory system. Meanwhile, White House budget director Peter Orszag will testify before the Senate Banking Committee and the Senate Budget Committee on President Obama's budget proposal.

The market has grown increasingly displeased with the administration's efforts to help the financial industry and the overall economy, so any news out of Washington will be closely watched. Investors are frustrated by the lack of evidence that the government's programs are working.

Ahead of the market's open, Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 110, or 1.7 percent, to 6,638. Standard & Poor's 500 index futures added 15, or 2.2 percent, to 690.90, while Nasdaq 100 index futures gained 18.50, or 1.8 percent, to 1,065.50.

Bond prices were mixed. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves opposite its price, rose to 2.93 percent from 2.88 percent late Monday. The yield on the three-month T-bill, considered one of the safest investments, was unchanged from late Monday at 0.23 percent.

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The dollar was mixed against other major currencies, while gold prices fell.

Light, sweet crude for April delivery rose 23 cents to $47.30 a barrel in electronic premarket trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Overseas, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index jumped 3.08 percent. Japan's Nikkei stock average fell 0.44 percent. In late morning trading, Britain's FTSE 100 was up 0.54 percent, Germany's DAX index was up 1.40 percent, and France's CAC-40 was up 0.97 percent.


On the Net:

New York Stock Exchange: http://www.nyse.com/

Nasdaq Stock Market: http://www.nasdaq.com/

[Associated Press; By SARA LEPRO]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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