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Pre-Market Primer: Stocks Recover From Dip Before Consumer Confidence Report

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Europe struggles to fix its youth unemployment problem.

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Overseas equities rose today, helping lift US stock futures this morning ahead of a report that is expected to show that consumer confidence rose.

After a day of losses on Friday and a long Memorial Day weekend, Wall Street is heading for gains as some investors take advantage of the dip as a buying opportunity. Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures are up 0.68% at 15,411 before the opening bell. S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) futures climbed 0.71% to 1,662.30, and Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures gained 0.89% to 3,081.75.

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence index for May is expected to rise to 71.5, the highest level since last fall, up from 68.1 last month. The indicator is due out at 10 a.m. ET. Also later this morning, we will get the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index, which is likely to show a 1% monthly rise in March home prices for the 20 cities that it tracks. Economists believe that this measure of housing prices rose 10.2% year-over-year.

Overnight, global shares advanced. Japan's Nikkei (INDEXNIKKEI:.NI225) ended the day up 1.2% as the yen weakened to 102.01 to the dollar, lifting exports as the prime minister said that the government could expand the stimulus program. Toyota (NYSE:TM) raised its profit forecast today. It projects that income will rise 42% to 1.37 trillion yen. Japanese government bond yields rose as a debt auction met tepid demand.

European indices posted more than 1% gains. The German and French finance ministers met today at the "Europe - Next Steps" conference to address Europe's persistent high youth unemployment. French President Francois Hollande will outlined a plan that involves EU leaders spending 6 billion euros in the most troubled areas. Spain and Greece both had under-25 unemployment rates of over 50%. France is getting close to Spain's rate with 27%. Germany had the lowest youth jobless rate of 7%.

French consumer confidence fell to 79 this month from 83 last month, the lowest level since 2008.

News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWS) shares fell 8.6% in the premarket as the company plans to write down the value of its publishing business. In a regulatory filing, the company said that it will sell the unit next month, valuing it at $1.2 billion.

Under pressure from the UK, European Union, and United States, Irish lawmakers are considering closing the "Double Irish" loophole that allows multinationals to funnel their overseas income into Irish subsidiaries tax-free. Last week, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook was grilled by Congress for taking advantage of this lucrative loophole. Other high-profile companies including Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) have come under scrutiny for doing the same.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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