SIDELINED BY S&P WARNING

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — U.S. stock futures hovered around breakeven Tuesday morning, as investors remain cautious after SP issued a eurozone warning.

The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU), SP 500 (SPX) and Nasdaq (COMP) futures edged higher ahead of the opening bell. Stock futures indicate the possible direction of the markets when they open at 9:30 a.m. ET.

U.S. stocks rose Monday but finished below their highest levels of the day, as investors turned cautious following reports that Standard and Poor’s may put eurozone nations on “creditwatch negative” — meaning that the countries have a 50% chance of being downgraded within 90 days.

SP turned rumors to reality after Monday’s closing bell, placing 15 out of 17 eurozone members on review for a possible downgrade. The day’s action did not affect Greece, whose current rating reflects a high risk of default; or Cyprus, which was already on watch.

SP issue eurozone warning

The prospects of an ending to the debt saga grew after the leaders of France and Germany agreed on a new fiscal pact, that they say will prevent another debt crisis.

World markets: European stocks were slightly lower in morning trading. Britain’s FTSE 100 (UKX) edged lower to 0.1%, the DAX (DAX) in Germany lost 0.9% and France’s CAC 40 (CAC40) shed 0.2%.

On Tuesday, Eurostat of the EU commission estimated the GDP increased by 0.2% in the eurozone for the third quarter.

Asian markets ended lower. The Shanghai Composite (SHCOMP) slipped 0.3%, the Hang Seng (HSI) in Hong Kong lost 1.2% and Japan’s Nikkei (N225) dropped 1.4%.

Companies: Bank of Montreal (BMO) will report its quarterly results before the opening bell on Tuesday. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expect the bank to report earnings of $1.34 per share, up from $1.26 a year ago.

Fashion brand Vera Bradley (VRA) will report after the bell. Analysts expect Vera Bradley to post earnings of 28 cents a share, up from 25 cents last year.

Shares of SuccessFactors Inc. (SFSF) surged Monday, after German software maker SAP (SAP) agreed to buy the company for $3.4 billion in cash. Shares of Taleo (TLEO), SuccessFactors’ rival, also spiked.

Shares of Taiwanese phone maker HTC were sharply lower ahead of a ruling on a key Apple patent suit. On Tuesday, a six-member panel at the International Trade Commission in Washington will rule on whether HTC’s phones have violated two Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) patents.

Currencies and commodities: The dollar gained strength against the euro and British pound, but fell slightly versus the Japanese yen.

Oil for December delivery slipped 28 cents to $100.71 a barrel.

Gold futures for December delivery fell $10.10 to $1,724.40 an ounce.

Bonds: The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury was little changed, with the yield up holding steady at 2.05% late Monday.  To top of page

Article source: http://rss.cnn.com/~r/rss/money_topstories/~3/evDYSBo6egs/index.htm

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