Stocks Look To Recover After Tuesday's Plunge

By: By CHIP CUTTER Email
By: By CHIP CUTTER Email

Stocks are looking to make a comeback a day after major indexes took their steepest fall this year.

The Dow Jones industrial average, Standard & Poor's 500 index and Nasdaq are all pointing to a higher opening Wednesday.

The gains come a day after stocks plummeted as Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi clung to power in the face of mounting protests.

Many traders worried that the unrest could threaten the nation's oil production. Libya is the world's 15th largest exporter of crude, accounting for 2 percent of global daily output.

But Uri Landesman, president of hedge fund manager Platinum Partners, said investors were likely sending stocks higher as they realized that Libya will continue producing oil, despite the revolt.

"It could be cooler heads prevailing," he said.

Ahead of the opening bell, Dow industrial average futures are up 23, or 0.2 percent, at 12,206.

S&P 500 index futures are up 2, or 0.1 percent, at 1,316. Nasdaq 100 index futures are up 7, or 0.3 percent, at 2,329.

On Tuesday, the Dow fell by 178 points - its biggest drop since Nov. 16. The S&P 500 fell by the largest amount since Aug. 11.

That sent many investors flocking to safer investments, such as bonds. But, on Wednesday, bond prices fell, sending yields higher.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 3.48 percent from 3.46 percent late Tuesday.

Investors are also weighing earnings reports from Lowe's Cos. and Toll Brothers Inc.

Lowe's said its fourth-quarter profit rose 39 percent as home owners took on more renovation projects. But its stock fell 1.9 percent in pre-market trading after the company issued a first-quarter earnings forecast that suggested its results could come in below current estimates.

Toll Brothers rose nearly 4 percent after the luxury homebuilder reported a surprise profit for its fiscal first quarter due to a larger tax benefit and a higher average price for its homes.

Another update on the housing industry will come later in the day when the National Association of Realtors releases existing home sales for January.

That report is expected to show that fewer people purchased previously occupied homes last month.


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