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Pre-Market Primer: Stocks Rise on Hopes of No QE Taper; US and EU Negotiate Trade Deal

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But French movies get to keep their protection.

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Stock futures were up sharply this morning as investors cling to hope that the Federal Reserve will avoid making a rash pullback from quantitative easing.

Before the opening bell, Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures were up 0.77% at 15,103. Futures contracts on the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) climbed 0.82% to 1,631.70 and Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures rose 0.94% to 2,964.50.

After the bell the NAHB housing market index is projected to report a one-point rise to 45 for June. This week will also bring key indicators, including the consumer price index. On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve will shed light more light on whether it will actually begin tapering off its asset purchases, as it said that it planned to do at its meeting last month.

The Wall Street Journal's veteran Fed reporter Jon Hilsenrath wrote last week that the central bank is trying to convince traders not to overreact to the gradual decline in asset purchases. Many expect the Fed to take a more dovish stance this month after fears of rising short-term interest rates led to a bond rout.

The week could also see greater volatility as quadruple witching hits on Friday.

Japan's Nikkei (INDEXNIKKEI:.NI225) rose 2.7%, sneaking out of technical "bear market" territory. The index is 18% below its 52-week high from late May.

European stocks also pointed north today. Eurozone exports exceeded imports by 16.1 billion euros in April, a smaller surplus than March's 18.1 billion. France, Germany, and Italy all posted surpluses, but Spain had a deficit of 1.9 billion euros.

The leaders of the G8 countries meet today in Northern Ireland to discuss cooperation on the situation in Syria, a trade agreement between the United States and EU, and measures to prevent tax avoidance. France already won a temporary exclusion to protect its film industry, despite US objections.

In an op-ed in the Financial Times, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Chairman Eric Schmidt called for simplified global corporate taxes. Google is one of the multinationals that draws the most ire from governments for using tax shelters.

Starboard Value, an activist investor with a 5.7% stake in Smithfield Foods, Inc. (NYSE:SFD), wrote a letter to the board urging them to break the company up rather than sell to Shuanhui, which agreed to acquire it for $4.7 billion, or $34 per share. Starboard posits that the company would be worth up to $55 per share if it carved itself up. Shares are up 1.37% this morning.

Time Warner Inc (NYSE:TWX) won the weekend at the box office with Man of Steel, which raked in $125.1 million in the US and $74.1 million in worldwide ticket sales on opening weekend.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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