LONDON -- Last night saw EU finance ministers manage to agree on yet another bailout agreement for Spain, which should give markets some comfort today and may prompt a rise in the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI ) . Futures markets are currently pricing in a 60-point opening gain for the leading index, which closed down by 36 points yesterday.
Economic data due today includes the NFIB Small Business Index, which is expected to have fallen since last month, and the latest job openings data. In company news, PriceSmart fell 6% in after-hours trading on reduced profits and may be active when markets open this morning. Also likely to be active are WD-40 and Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD ) , both of which made announcements last night setting expectations for lower sales and revenue this quarter.
In Europe, the new bailout agreement caused the yield on Spain's 10-year government bonds to drop below the 7% danger level when European markets opened this morning. The main elements appear to be an immediate 30 billion euro long-term loan package for Spanish banks and the possibility of the creation of a bad bank to house troubled assets. However, the small print is still to be worked out, and the crucial detail of who will guarantee the loans -- the Spanish government or the European Stability Mechanism bailout fund -- remains unresolved. This means that tensions are likely to rise again once the initial euphoria fades away. A German court case challenging the legality of the ESM isn't helping matters, either.
In London, the FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE ) was up by 1% at 7 a.m. EDT, with miners rising and the U.K.'s largest defense firm, BAESystems (LSE: BA.L ) , gaining 3.5% on hopes that it is about to sign a $7 billion contract to supply training jets to the U.S. Air Force. Barclays (NYSE: BCS ) also recovered slightly from recent falls, gaining 2.2% on news that ex-CEO Bob Diamond has agreed to waive his rights to a 20 million pound bonus package. The other main European markets were also higher, gaining around 1.5% in morning trading.
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