U.S. stock futures point to a largely flat open as U.S. credit ratings were reaffirmed despite the failure of the congressional super committee to reach a debt reduction deal.


NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures pointed to a largely flat open Tuesday as U.S. credit ratings were reaffirmed despite the failure of the congressional super committee to reach a debt reduction deal.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were rising 18 points, or 25 points above fair value, at 11,543. Futures for the S&P 500 were up 4 points, or 4 points above fair value at 1195, and futures for the tech-heavy Nasdaq were down 2 points, or 0.01 points above fair value, at 2211.

The S&P 500 was on its way to breaking a fourth day of declines as rating agencies Standard & Poor's and Moody's reaffirmed their views on U.S. creditworthiness. S&P maintains its AA+ rating for U.S. long-term debt with negative outlook, after downgrading the country from the pristine AAA rating on Aug. 5, and Moody's said its AAA rating with a negative outlook remains unchanged. Fitch Ratings will finalize its U.S. credit rating review by the end of this month.

This, despite the failure of a special congressional committee to reach an agreement to reduce the U.S. deficit by $1.2 trillion over a decade. This will likely trigger automatic spending cuts split evenly between defense and domestic spending.

London's FTSE was rising 0.7%, and Germany's DAX was advancing 0.8%. Overnight, Asian stocks closed mixed. Japan's Nikkei Average was down 0.4%, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 0.14%.

Stocks closed down sharply on Monday as political gridlock on U.S. deficit cuts raised a new set of concerns for Wall Street.

At 8:30 am EST, the Bureau of Economic Analysis will release its second estimate of U.S. third-quarter gross domestic product growth. A poll of economists by Reuters expect a 2.5% annualized growth rate, the same as the advance third-quarter estimate.

Minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee's meeting on Nov. 2 on the benchmark interest rate will be released at 2 p.m. The markets will parse the minutes for signs of discussions on more quantitative easing.

In corporate news, Hewlett-Packard(:HPQ), the computer and printer maker, said adjusted earnings per share fell 12% from last year to $1.17 per share. Adjusted net revenue for the quarter ended in October dropped 3% to $32.30 billion. Analysts were expecting profit of $1.13 a share on sales of $32 billion. Shares were falling 1.5% in premarket trading Tuesday.

Hormel Foods(:HRL) said fiscal fourth-quarter profit fell 3%.The maker of Spam said net income fell to $117.3 million, or 43 cents a share, from $121.1 million, or 45 cents, last year. Analysts were expecting a profit of 42 cents a share.

Online movie rental company Netflix(:NFLX) says it's raising an additional $200 million in capital through the sale of zero coupon convertible notes. Technology Crossover Ventures will be buying the notes, and has the right to nominate one person Netflix's board. Shares were tumbling 5.7% in premarket trading.

The December gold contract was up $17.60 to $1,696 an ounce. January crude oil futures were rising $1.44 to $98.36 a barrel.

The U.S. dollar was falling against a basket of currencies, with the U.S. dollar index down 0.3%. The ten-year Treasury was down 7/32, raising the yield to 1.977%.

-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.



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