* Deal to extend tax cuts boosts futures
* Ireland expected to pass austerity budget
* Futures up: S&P 10.4 pts, Dow 76 pts, Nasdaq 19.5 pts
* For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]
NEW YORK, Dec 7 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures rose
on Tuesday after U.S. President Barack Obama forged a
compromise with Republicans to extend Bush-era tax breaks for
* Obama announced the deal to renew tax cuts for wealthier
Americans -- as Republicans had wanted -- as well as the middle
class. The deal was expected to extend breaks on dividends and
capital gains. For details, see [ID:nN06211347]
* Investors have said the tax cuts were necessary to keep
the fragile economic recovery on track, claiming the cuts would
prompt more spending and investing. Keeping the capital gains
tax steady could make investors less inclined to sell shares.
* Futures shrugged off disappointment there was no further
action out of the euro zone to deal with its debt crisis. After
a five-hour meeting Monday, ministers said they would not
introduce any measures to tackle the threat of contagion.
* Ireland was expected to pass a record austerity budget
through parliament, averting the risk of a snap election that
could have plunged the country into a deeper crisis.
* S&P 500 futures
rose 10.4 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 gained 76
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 19.5 points.
* In a potential negative for markets, China is likely to
raise interest rates in the coming days in a demonstration of
the government's resolve to tame inflation, an official
newspaper reported. [ID:nTOE6B602F]
* The U.S. government sold its remaining shares in
for $4.35 apiece, marking an exit from
ownership in the bailed-out bank, with a $12 billion gross
profit for taxpayers. Its shares were off 1.1 percent to $4.40
in premarket trading. [ID:nN06234751]
* Stocks ended flat Monday as worries about Europe's
situation frustrated investors. Analysts still see the S&P 500
breaking out of its recent range soon and surpassing an
intraday high for the year just above 1,227 reached on Nov. 5.
* Analysts view key resistance for the index at 1,228
because it's just above the year's high and coincides with the
61.8 percent Fibonacci retracement of the 2007-2009 bear market
slide, a key technical indicator. The S&P closed at 1,223.12.
(Reporting by Leah Schnurr; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)