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December 4, 2012  Tue 7:13 AM CT

SPX: SEE CHART GET CHAIN FIND STRATEGIES
Stocks are inching higher in the pre-market on optimism that public finance problems will be solved in the United States and Europe.

S&P 500 futures are up by almost two-tenths of a percent and have been climbing in the last hour. Indexes across the Atlantic are gaining about half a percent, while Asian indexes were mixed overnight.

The SPX has snapped back sharply from an early-November selloff and is now pausing around the same level that was support in late October. It also pulled back yesterday after trading above its 50-day moving average, which may suggest that traders wish to take profits rather than initiate new longs for the time being.

European markets advanced after Greece proceeded with plans to buy back its sovereign debt, a key step in it receiving international aid. Investors continue to wait for signs of progress regarding the so-called fiscal cliff in the United States, where worries of increased taxes caused manufacturing data to miss expectations yesterday.

The economic calendar is quiet today but will become more active tomorrow as monthly employment data approaches is released.

Commodity prices are mixed to lower. Oil and gold were down by more than a percentage point earlier but are now rebounding. Copper is also recovering, and most agricultural foodstuffs are positive. Silver fell about 1.5 percent.

Currencies paint a modestly bullish picture, with the euro higher. The Australian dollar is also up by half a percent against the greenback despite policymakers cutting interest rates in Sydney. The Japanese yen is climbing however, a potential sign of risk aversion.

In company-specific news, Vail Resorts is down by almost 8 percent after first-quarter earnings and revenue missed expectations. Big Lots rose more than 8 percent after results beat consensus and management raised guidance.
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