Stock futures rise, traders try to build on rally at Wall Street opening bell

Despite the ongoing concerns, major European indexes snapped back after big losses Tuesday.

By , Associated Press

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    In this May 25 photo, traders Martin Durkin (l.) and Jonathan Corpina confer on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange,on Wall Street. Stock futures rose Wednesday as investors try to build momentum following a late-day rally during the previous trading session.
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Stock futures rose Wednesday after an upbeat durable goods report gave investors a reason to keep buying following the previous day's late rally.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed down just 22 points Tuesday after falling more than 250 points shortly after trading opened. The comeback was stoked by comments from congressional leaders saying they would not push for banks to spin off lucrative trading desks as part of financial regulation reform.

The durable goods report gave investors further evidence the U.S. economy is improving. The Commerce Department said orders for big-ticket manufactured goods rose 2.9 percent last month, more than double the 1.3 percent gain forecast by economists polled by Thomson Reuters. It was the biggest jump in orders in three months.

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The U.S. manufacturing sector has shown consistent growth during the country's recovery. April's figures were boosted by a big rise in transportation orders. Excluding transportation, orders dipped 1 percent.

Ahead of the opening bell, Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 61, or 0.6 percent, to 10,086. Standard & Poor's 500 index futures rose 8.60, or 0.8 percent, to 1,081.60, while Nasdaq 100 index futures gained 11.50, or 0.6 percent, to 1,827.00.

Investors' late-day focus Tuesday on domestic news was a change from what has driven trading for the past few weeks. Investors had been almost wholly concentrating on whether steep budget cuts to manage rising debt in European countries would slow a global economic recovery in the coming months.

A separate report from the Commerce Department is expected to show some improvement in the housing market as well. However, the report could be brushed aside because it might have be inflated by home buyers rushing to take advantage of a tax credit that expired last month.

Economists forecast sales of new homes rose 4.6 percent in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 430,000 units. The report is due out at 10 a.m. EDT.

Although signs still point to recovery in the U.S., many concerns about Europe remain. The euro, which is used by 16 European countries, fell again Wednesday. The currency has become a proxy for investor confidence in Europe's ability to contain its debt problems the health of the continent's economy. The euro remains close to the four-year low it hit last week. It was down to $1.2279 Wednesday.

Despite the ongoing concerns, major European indexes snapped back after big losses Tuesday.

Britain's FTSE 100 gained 2.4 percent, Germany's DAX index rose 2.1 percent, and France's CAC-40 climbed 3.1 percent.

Meanwhile, U.S. Treasury prices fell. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves opposite its price, rose to 3.25 percent from 3.16 percent late Tuesday.

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