US STOCKS-Wall St to gain at open on Greek deal hopes, oil lift
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By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Feb 3 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures pointed to a modestly higher open on Tuesday, with the benchmark S&P 500 index set to continue a rally fueled by hopes of a deal on Greek debt and by firmer oil prices.
Stocks rallied late in the prior session on signs Greece was softening its approach to debt negotiations. A source told Reuters that Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, in London to reassure private investors he was not seeking a showdown with Brussels over a new debt agreement, said the new left-wing government would spare privately held bonds from losses.
Adding support was a further gain in oil prices, with U.S. crude up 2.4 percent to $50.76 and Brent up 2.7 percent to $56.21. The advance came after BP said it would cut capital expenditure, raising expectations a supply glut will be lessened. Shares of offshore contract driller Transocean gained 4.2 percent to $18 in premarket trading.
S&P 500 e-mini futures were up 4.25 points and fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract, indicated a higher open. Dow Jones industrial average e-mini futures rose 40 points and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures added 5.25 points.
The S&P 500 is still down more than 3 percent from its Dec. 29 record high amid lackluster corporate earnings and data showing the U.S. economy growing at a slower pace than investors anticipated. January's 3.1 percent decline was the worst monthly performance for the index in a year. Continuación...