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US stock futures point higher on Citi news

US stock futures point higher on Citi news

Wall Street appeared headed for a rebound Tuesday after Citigroup Inc. said it had operated at a profit during the first two months of the year.
In a letter sent to employees Monday, Citi Chief Executive Vikram Pandit said the bank had an operating profit of $8.3 billion before taxes and special items through February _ its best performance since the third quarter of 2007.
Pandit declined to say how large credit losses and other one-time items have been that would at least partially offset profit. However, word of the bank's performance broke at least temporarily a months-long torrent of bad news from the banking industry that has pounded financial stocks and in turn, the overall market.
Meanwhile, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal that cited people familiar with the matter, government officials have been examining additional ways to stabilize the bank should further problems arise. Late last month, in its third attempt to rescue the bank from collapse, the Treasury Department moved to take up to a 36 percent stake in Citi.
Citi shares jumped 19 cents, or 18.1 percent, to $1.24 in premarket trading.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke called for a revamp of the country's financial regulatory system. Speaking before the Council of Foreign Relations, Bernanke said "too big to fail" companies must be subject to more rigorous supervision to prevent them from taking on excessive risk. Bernanke's remarks come as the Obama administration and Congress begin to devise their overhaul strategies.
Ahead of the market's open, Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 105, or 1.6 percent, to 6,633. Standard & Poor's 500 index futures added 13.10, or 1.9 percent, to 689, while Nasdaq 100 index futures gained 17, or 1.6 percent, to 1,064.
With the major U.S. indexes losing more than 25 percent so far this year, and trading at levels not seen in more than 11 years, a bounce was to be expected, although the Citi news was reassuring.
"Things have gotten so negative that it doesn't take much of a positive to get a rally," said Bill Stone, chief investment strategist at PNC Wealth Management.
The question is whether the market can sustain any sort of advance. With few economic and corporate reports this week, analysts expect the market to waver as it searches for a direction.
The lone economic report on Tuesday will come from the Commerce Department, which releases data on wholesale trade inventories for January.
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Updated : 2020-12-02 03:11 GMT+08:00