US STOCKS-Wall Street to climb at open on central bank comments

Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:18am EDT

* Durable goods data tops expectations

* Lennar posts revenue climb

* Walgreen slips after earnings

* Futures up: Dow 93 pts, S&P 12 pts, Nasdaq 21.75 pts

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, June 25 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were poised for a higher open on Tuesday, indicating the S&P 500 may stem its recent slide after comments from central bankers in the U.S. and China eased recent concerns about a credit crunch and an end to stimulus measures.

The People's Bank of China said it would not press banks too greatly in its efforts to curb easy credit as it sought to ease worries of a possible banking crisis.

The S&P 500 on Monday closed at its lowest level since April 22 after China's central bank said the country's banks need to do a better job of managing their cash and due to continued worries about a reduction in stimulus measures from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

But equities pared losses late in the session after two Fed officials downplayed the notion of an imminent end to monetary stimulus. The benchmark S&P index has fallen 4.8 percent since the Fed signaled last week that it may begin to lessen stimulus should its economic forecasts hold true, including a 1.4 percent drop the day of the announcement.

"Equities have had a healthy pullback. Ultimately, the Fed exit should be good for equities but it's going to be a difficult transition," said Troy Gayeski, Partner and Senior Portfolio Manager at SkyBridge Capital in New York.

Adding support was data showing durable goods orders increased 3.6 percent in May, above the 3 percent forecast, the latest signs of a pick-up in economic activity.

S&P 500 futures rose 12 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 gained 92 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 21.75 points.

The S&P/Case Shiller composite index of house prices in 20 metropolitan areas gained 1.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, topping forecasts for 1.2 percent, indicating the housing recovery continues to gain momentum.

New home sales data for May is expected along with June consumer confidence at 10 a.m. (1400 GMT). Economists in a Reuters survey forecast home sales at a total of 462,000 annualized units compared with 454,000 in April. Consumer confidence is expected to show a reading of 75.4 against the 76.2 announced in May.

Lennar Corp climbed 4.6 percent to $36.60 in premarket trade after the No. 3 U.S. homebuilder reported a 53 percent jump in quarterly revenue as it sold more homes at higher prices, and said orders rose 27 percent.

Walgreen Co fell 6.4 percent to $45 in premarket trade after reporting weaker-than-expected results, citing slow front-end sales and a challenging economy.

Barnes & Noble Inc slumped 10.2 percent to $16.90 before the opening bell after the largest U.S. bookstore chain reported its quarterly net loss more than doubled.