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Premarket: Spanish bailout hopes lift stocks Add to ...

Well, that was easy. A day after stocks dipped into the red they're back on an upwards trajectory, thanks to reports that Spain is preparing to seek a bailout and undertake austerity measures.

The Financial Times said that European authorities were helping Madrid craft an economic reform programme that will be announced next week, paving the way for a new rescue deal for the euro zone’s fourth-biggest economy. Sources told Reuters Spain is considering freezing pensions and speeding up an increase in the retirement age.

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This was enough to prompt traders to ignore a report from the United Kingdom showing its plans to pare its deficit have fallen behind target, on the heels of Italy’s warning that its recession will be far more severe than forecast. The euro climbed towards its highest level in nearly five months of $1.31729.

Investors were also dipping into riskier assets, such as copper, tech stocks and bonds of Italy and Spain.

But beware: Friday is quadruple witching day -- when contracts for stock index futures, stock index options, stock options and single stock futures all expire -- which often means higher volatility.

Apple Inc. shares were $2.60 (U.S.), or 0.4 per cent, higher in premarket trading on the Nasdaq at $701.30 as the tech giant released its iPhone5 in Asia, Europe and North America. The smartphone is thinner, lighter, has a taller screen, a faster processor, and updated software and can work on faster “fourth generation” mobile networks.

Google Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. also gained ground.

But Research in Motion Ltd. fell 3 per cent to $6.70 in premarket trading as the BlackBerry maker reported service outages across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Here's the rundown of what else you need to know as the investing day gets underway.

MARKETS:

Equities:
Futures: Dow +0.24 per cent, S&P 500 +0.17 per cent, Nasdaq +0.2 per cent

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index +0.7 per cent

Shanghai Composite index +0.09 per cent

Japan’s Nikkei +0.25 per cent

London’s FTSE 100 -0.13 per cent

France’s CAC 40 +0.04 per cent

Germany’s DAX index +0.29 per cent

Commodities:
WTI (Nymex Nov) -0.68 per cent at $93.05 (U.S.) a barrel

Gold (Comex Dec) +0.32 per cent at $1,775.80 (U.S.) an ounce

Copper (Comex Dec) +0.69 per cent at $3.78 (U.S.) a pound

Currencies:
Canadian dollar down 0.002, or 0.21 per cent, at $1.0238 (U.S.)

 

STOCKS AND ECONOMIC INDICATORS TO WATCH:

(0830 a.m. ET) Statistics Canada releases consumer price index for August. It's forecast to rise 0.3 per cent, mostly on the back of higher gasoline prices.

(0830 a.m. ET) Statistics Canada releases wholesale trade data for July.

THIS MORNING'S TOP READS ON THE WEB:

It's quadruple witching day. Here's seven reasons not to fear it.

American real estate investors are eagerly seeking opportunities to reap profits from the European debt crisis.

Why you should avoid any ETF trading in the first five minutes of the session, especially on U.S.-based equity funds.

The limits of direct experience in an investor's education.

Why Shutterfly looks like a buy.

The overwhelming consensus on Wall Street is that Apple is headed significantly higher. Why investors should take this with a grain of salt.

 

Follow us on Twitter: @GlobeInvestor

 
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