US Stock Futures Rise as Pressure on Europe Eases

By DANIEL WAGNER | November 18, 2011 | 8:20 AM EST

In this Nov. 17, 2011 photo, trader Kevin Lodewick, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Financial markets remained volatile on Friday, Nov. 18, in the face of a European debt crisis that has widened and deepened over the past week. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Stock futures are rising as borrowing costs for Italy and Spain decline, a signal that the European debt crisis might be easing.

Spain and Italy have had to pay high interest rates because bondholders fear that that they will default. Holders of Greek bonds have had to take steep losses.

The Conference Board reports at 10 a.m. on its index of leading economic indicators. Economists expect the index to rise 0.4 percent after September's 0.2 percent gain.

H.J. Heinz Co. slipped in premarket trading after its second-quarter net income fell almost 6 percent.

S&P 500 futures are up 11 points, or 0.9 percent, at 1,225 at 8 a.m. Dow futures are up 84, or 0.7 percent, at 1,823. Nasdaq 100 futures are up 14, or 0.6 percent, at 2,282.