WAITING ON EUROPE

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — U.S. stock futures pointed to a flat open Wednesday, as investors around the globe are sitting, waiting and watching ahead of a key European summit that starts tomorrow.

The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU), SP 500 (SPX) and Nasdaq (COMP) futures were little changed early Wednesday morning. Stock futures indicate the possible direction of the markets when they open at 9:30 a.m. ET.

European leaders are under pressure to announce plans to backstop the debts of struggling nations, while also laying the groundwork for future growth, during their key meeting on Thursday and Friday.

But with so many similar summits having come and gone, investors are skeptical that anything concrete will emerge.

Spain has been particularly troublesome recently, with its sky-high borrowing costs and struggling banking sector.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy told Spain’s parliament Wednesday morning that the country could not continue to finance at current prices for much longer.

Spain’s central bank also issued a cautious note about the country’s economy. “The most recent information for the [latest period] indicates that activity continued declining at a more intense pace,” the Bank of Spain said in its monthly report.

On the domestic front, investors await economic reports on durable goods orders and the housing market.

U.S. stocks held onto modest gains Tuesday, as investors remained cautious ahead of the EU summit.

World markets: European stocks were mostly modestly higher in morning trading. Britain’s FTSE 100 (UKX) and France’s CAC 40 (CAC40) inched up 0.4%, while the DAX (DAX) in Germany nudged up 0.1%.

Asian markets ended mixed. The Shanghai Composite (SHCOMP) slid 0.2%, while the Hang Seng (HSI) in Hong Kong moved up 1% and Japan’s Nikkei (N225) rose 0.8%.

Economy: Durable goods orders for May are expected to have risen by 0.5%, according to a survey of analysts by Briefing.com.

May’s pending home sales are also expected to have risen.

Companies: Firms including food producer General Mills (GIS, Fortune 500) and pesticide-maker Monsanto (MON, Fortune 500) are due to release their quarterly results before the bell.

General Mills is expected to post earnings of 59 cents a share on $4.1 billion in revenue. Monsanto is tipped to report earnings of $1.60 a share on $4 billion in revenue.

Investors will also be keeping tabs on Facebook (FB), since Wednesday marks the end of the so-called quiet period, allowing analysts to publish research on the social media company’s estimated value.

Shares of News Corp (NWSA, Fortune 500) edged higher in premarket trading, after surging more than 8% Tuesday. News Corp. said it may split into two entities — one comprising the 20th Century Fox film studio, the Fox broadcast network and the Fox News Channel, and the other housing its newspaper and book publishing businesses.

Shares of Best Buy (BBY, Fortune 500) rose nearly 5% Tuesday following reports that its CEO was considering taking the company private. The stock fell more than 1% in after-hours trading.

Currencies and commodities: The dollar remained flat against the euro, but rose against the British pound and Japanese yen.

Oil for August delivery fell 36 cents to $79 a barrel.

Gold futures for August delivery fell $7.00 to $1,567.90 an ounce.

Bonds: The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury rose, pushing the yield down slightly to 1.62% from 1.63% late Tuesday.  To top of page

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