US STOCKS-Futures jump 1 pct on relief over debt deal

Mon Aug 1, 2011 8:00am EDT



 * Gold prices tumble while crude oil gains
 * Humana raises full-year profit view, stock edges higher
 * Loews profit misses estimates, Allstate posts steep loss
 * Futures up: Dow 153 pts, S&P 15.4 pts, Nasdaq 27.5 pts
 * For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]
  (Adds analyst comment, earnings details)
 By Ryan Vlastelica
 NEW YORK, Aug 1 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures surged
more than 1 percent on Monday on relief over a deal in
Washington to raise the debt ceiling, avoiding an unprecedented
default.
 Lawmakers were expected to vote on Monday on the White
House-backed agreement, which includes budget cuts of $2.4
trillion. The deal was seen passing the Democratic-led Senate,
but it faces tougher opposition in the U.S. House of
Representatives, where both conservative Tea Party supporters
and liberal lawmakers have criticized it. For details, see
[ID:nN1E76U0F5]
 Even though a default was considered unlikely by many
investors, equities grew increasingly volatile as Washington
was stalemated. Wall Street ended its worst week in a year last
week.
 "While no one could imagine there being no compromise
passed, no one could also imagine it taking this long to get
one. So there's justification for the rally because it takes
that anxiety away," said Oliver Pursche, president at Gary
Goldberg Financial Services in Suffern, New York.
 Gold GCZ1, seen as a safe haven in times of economic
uncertainty, fell 0.7 percent following the deal, while U.S.
crude oil CLc1 climbed 1.1 percent.
 Even with a deal, many investors remained concerned about a
possible downgrade of the United States' AAA sovereign debt
rating, as well as continued issues over European debt. Some
analysts said Monday's rally in futures could be short-lived.
The FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 index of top shares was up 0.6
percent. [ID:nL6E7J10BR]
 "Based on the comments Standard & Poor's has made so far,
they've backed themselves into a corner, making it very likely
that we could see a downgrade," Pursche said. "However, since
that is partially priced in and rating agencies don't have as
much credibility as they used to, I don't know how big of a
material impact it will have."
 S&P 500 futures SPc1 rose 15.4 points and were above fair
value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account
interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the
contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures DJc1 soared
153 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures NDc1 jumped 27.5 points.
 In earnings news, Allstate Corp (ALL.N) recorded a
second-quarter loss as its catastrophe losses soared 268
percent, while Loews Corp (L.N) posted quarterly profits below
estimates it was hit by higher catastrophe losses and lower
income from its biggest holding, CNA Financial (CNA.N).
[ID:nL3E7J11S7] and [ID:nL3E7J11OX]
 Separately, Humana Inc (HUM.N) raised its full-year profit
view, sending the stock up 5.5 percent to $78.68 before the
bell. [ID:nL3E7J11R2]
 Economic indicators on tap include June construction
spending, which is seen as unchanged, and July ISM
manufacturing data. ISM is seen coming in at 54.9, down from a
read of 55.3 in June. July's non-farm payroll number, due
Friday, will also be a focus for investors.
 HSBC Holding Plc (HSBA.L)HBC.N reported a surprise
first-half profit and said it would cut 30,000 jobs as it
retreats from countries where it is struggling to compete.
U.S.-listed shares of the bank rose 3.8 percent to $50.73 in
premarket trading. [ID:nL3E7J11ER]
 Stocks fell for five straight days last week, with the S&P
down 3.9 percent over the period on the political logjam in
Washington over the debt ceiling.
  (Reporting by Ryan Vlastelica; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)






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