U.S. Stock Futures Gain as Greek Polls Ease Exit Concern
U.S. stock-index futures advanced as Greece’s pro-bailout New Democracy party came top in opinion polls before next month’s election, boosting speculation the nation can implement austerity measures and keep the euro.
Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) futures expiring in June increased 0.5 percent to 1,321.1 at 10:16 a.m. in New York. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures increased 41 points, or 0.3 percent, to 12,470. The U.S. equity market is closed today for the Memorial Day holiday.
“The polls suggest that the New Democracy and Socialist parties would have enough votes to form a coalition and hence stem the tide of negativity surrounding an immediate Greek default,” Gerard Lane, an equity strategist at Shore Capital Group Ltd. in Liverpool, England, wrote in a note to clients.
New Democracy, which supports the austerity measures imposed by the European Union, came first in all six opinion polls published on May 26 as campaigning continued for the general election on June 17.
Party leader Antonis Samaras sought to sketch out the consequences of a euro exit, saying Greek incomes, bank deposits and property values would lose at least half their value within days, while food prices would rise by a quarter.
In Ireland, supporters of the EU’s fiscal pact lead before a May 31 referendum, according to a poll for the Sunday Independent. Excluding undecided voters, the yes camp leads by 60 percent to 40 percent, the Dublin-based newspaper said.
The S&P 500 gained 1.7 percent last week, its first weekly rally since April, as investors were lured by the cheapest valuations since November.
Alcoa, the largest U.S. aluminum producer, rose 0.9 percent to $8.71 and Newmont Mining added 0.4 percent to $49.
Copper climbed for a third day in London as inventories monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange slumped for a seventh week, the longest losing streak in a year.
Heath Jansen, Citigroup Inc.’s head of research for European metals and mining, wrote in a report today that in the “short term,” his view on the industry changed to “neutral” from “bearish” because of higher-than-average dividend yields offered by the companies.
Apple, the maker of the iPhone and iPad, added 0.7 percent to $566.17 in Germany.
Bank of America Corp (BAC), the second-largest U.S. lender by assets, advanced 0.8 percent to $7.21.
Facebook, the world’s biggest social-network website, fell 1.1 percent to $31.55 in Germany.
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