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Wall Street set for strong open on gold bounce, data



By Chuck Mikolajczak
16 April 2013 @ 11:32 pm AEST

NEW YORK -

Stocks were poised for a strong open on Tuesday, indicating the S&P 500 will rebound from its worst decline since November, after gold made a modest recovery and data on U.S. inflation and new-home construction pointed to an improving economy.

Spot gold gained 3.1 percent as the market tried to steady after the precious metal recorded its biggest ever daily drop in dollar terms in the prior session. But even as physical buyers seized on the lower prices, investors remained jittery about further declines.

U.S. stocks posted their worst day since November 7 on Monday as big declines in the price of gold, oil and other commodities fed a broad selloff in equities, with weakness accelerating late in the session after two fatal explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

Economic data also helped support gains in equities. The consumer price index slipped 0.2 percent, erasing some of the 0.7 percent increase in February while starts at building sites for homes rose 7.0 percent last month.

"The big thing dragging down stocks yesterday was really the sharp decline in gold and you see that lifting here a bit," said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer of Solaris Group in Bedford Hills, New York.

"Certainly we've had some soft economic data recently ... You see a nice strong housing starts number today and that certainly is providing an additional lift to the market."

S&P 500 futures rose 13.6 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 rose 129 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 25.75 points.

Investors also digested a flurry of earnings reports. Coca-Cola Co gained 3 percent to $41.30 in premarket action after the soft drink company posted first-quarter earnings and announced a deal to sell some territory held by its company-owned bottling system.

Fellow Dow component Johnson & Johnson added 0.9 percent to $82.42 before the opening bell after the diversified healthcare company reported better-than-expected first-quarter earnings.

Goldman Sachs reported a 5.5 percent rise in quarterly profit as it earned more from underwriting fees and its own investments. Goldman shares gained 0.9 percent to $147.75 in premarket trading.

U.S.-listed shares of gold miners Barrick Gold and Randgold Resources rebounded in premarket trading along with the precious metal. Barrick rose 4 percent to $20.58 and Randgold climbed 5.4 percent to $72.74.

But Target Corp shed 0.7 percent to $67.99 after the retailer warned first-quarter earnings would miss expectations after weaker-than-expected sales of seasonal and other items.

Intel Corp and Yahoo Inc are scheduled to post earnings after the close.

(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Kenneth Barry)

Copyright 2009 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.

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