NEW YORK -- Stock index futures pointed to a higher opening Tuesday on hopes that Greece will get new aid for its debt problems.
Worries about a possible default by Greece and other European governments have helped drag down stocks around the world in recent weeks. The Dow Jones industrial average has dropped four straight weeks, its longest losing streak since February 2010.
But the renewed hopes for additional Greek aid helped lift markets across Europe. Germany's DAX index rose 1.9 percent, France's CAC 40 index gained 1.5 percent and Britain's FTSE 100 index rose 0.8 percent. The euro rose against the dollar.
The optimism also pushed up crude oil prices. Futures climbed $1.65 to top $102 per barrel, helping to lift energy stocks in pre-market trading. Oil and gas producer Occidental Petroleum Corp. gained 1.6 percent ahead of the bell, as did National Oilwell Varco Inc.
Several U.S. economic reports are due later Tuesday, and economists expect to see more mixed data. Reports through May have often come in below expectations, raising worries that the recovery is under threat. Standard & Poor's will offer an update on home prices, and economists expect to see more weakness. Another report, though, may show that consumer confidence rose in May.
Ashland Inc. rose 3.2 percent in pre-market trading after it said it will buy Specialty Products Inc. for $3.2 billion in cash. It's the latest big purchase in the specialty chemicals industry. Earlier deals include Berkshire Hathaway Inc.'s $9 billion purchase of Lubrizol Corp., announced in March. Corporate dealmaking, along with strong earnings, helped propel stocks earlier in the year.
Moody's said it may downgrade Japan's debt rating because of weakening economic growth following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Japan's Nikkei 225 index nevertheless rose 2 percent, along with other Asian markets earlier Tuesday. A report showed Japanese factory output grew in April, following a record drop in March.
Ahead of the opening bell, Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 99 points, or 0.8 percent, to 12,527. S&P 500 futures gained 11.30 points, or 0.9 percent, to 1,341.20. Nasdaq 100 futures rose 22.25 points, or 1 percent, to 2,354.75.