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Pre-Market Primer: Lennar Corporation Surges as Housing Market Improves

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Durable goods orders also beat on the upside.

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Stocks are poised to erase yesterday's losses after China's central bank stepped in to ease the liquidity crunch in its banking sector, and the US gets some positive economic data on housing, business investments, and consumer confidence.

Durable goods orders handily beat expectations, rising 3.6% in May after rising 3.5% in April. Excluding transportation, orders increased by 0.7%. Economists expected non-transportation orders to be flat.

The People's Bank of China said that it will ensure that money-market rates stay at a "reasonable range" to stem a cash crunch in the country. The reversal of Monday's more hawkish statements soothed the markets. Shares in the country surged back after the announcement, but ended the day lower. European markets also recovered today.

After a fourth straight day of losses yesterday, Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures were up 0.43% at 14,650. Futures contracts on the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) gained 0.50% to 1,574.00 after hitting a nine-week low yesterday. Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures climbed 0.53% to 2,859.00.

Investors also look forward to picking apart a lot of housing data later this morning. The rate of new home sales are projected to rise to a seasonally adjusted 460,000 in May, up from 454,000. Economists expect the Case-Shiller home price index to rise 1.5% in April. On a yearly basis, home prices likely increased by 10.9% in the 20 cities that the index covers. The Federal Housing Finance Agency's house price index is also likely to rise 1.2%.

Lennar Corporation (NYSE:LEN), the third largest US homebuilder, is one company that is capitalizing on the housing recovery. Lennar's second-quarter earnings of $0.43 per share beat estimates by a dime. Revenue of $1.43 billion also exceeded expectations. The company was up 6.1% in pre-market trading.

The Conference Board's June consumer confidence survey is also due out today. The consensus is that the index might drop 1.2 points to 75 this month.

In corporate news, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) announced a partnership with Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ:ORCL). Their cooperation will ensure support for Oracle's database software for companies that use Microsoft's Azure cloud platform. Both tech firms are trading higher this morning.

Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) is up 2.7% before the bell. The Canadian mobile company launched a program today that will allow enterprise clients to secure Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhones and Google Inc's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android devices. The Secure Work Space allows corporate IT departments to control devices made by BlackBerry's competitors. This marks a shift toward services for the smartphone company.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
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