US STOCKS-Wall St to open higher on consumer, commodity lift

* S&P/Case Shiller indexes fall, US consumer data on tap

* Blizzard pushes oil up just short of 2-year high

* Futures up: Dow 17 pts, S&P 2.2 pts, Nasdaq 2.5 pts

* For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, Dec 28 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) were set for a
modestly higher open on Tuesday ahead of an expected lift in a
measure of U.S. consumer confidence, indicating the economic
recovery remained on track to sustain the year-end rally.

General Motors Co (GM.N: ) gained 2.4 percent to $35.30 in
premarket trade after several analysts initiated coverage of
the automaker’s shares, including “overweight” ratings at
Barclays Capital and Morgan Stanley.

Trading volumes, already light for the holiday season, were
expected to remain thin as the northeastern United States digs
itself out from a blizzard that disrupted air and rail travel
at the end of the busy Christmas weekend. For details, see

The blizzard pushed oil prices up to just below a more than
two-year high struck the previous session with U.S. crude
(CLc1: ) for February up 46 cents at $91.46 a barrel.

“We have some economic data today in which we should see a
new burst of consumer enthusiasm as consumer confidence jumps
up,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Avalon
Partners in New York.

“All in all, you have metals prices higher, gold is
knocking on $1,400 an ounce, oil prices up, and commodity
prices in general moving higher, which is also a good sign.”

Futures showed little reaction to the the S&P/Case Shiller
home prices indexes, which showed prices of U.S. single-family
homes fell almost double the expected pace in October, the
fourth-straight monthly decline. [ID:nNLLRNE6QV]

The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index for
December is expected at 10 a.m. [1500 GMT] and is forecast to
rise to 56.0 from November.

Further evidence of a returning consumer included the
MasterCard Advisors’ SpendingPulse report, which said domestic
retail sales rose 5.5 percent year over year during the 50-day
period from Nov 5 to Dec 24.

S&P 500 futures (SPc1: ) rose 2.2 points and were above fair
value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account
interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the
contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures (DJc1: ) gained 17
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures (NDc1: ) added 2.5 points.

MannKind Corp (MNKD.O: ) jumped 9.8 percent to $8.75 in
premarket trade after the inhaled-insulin developer said the
U.S. health regulator would not be able to complete the review
of Afrezza by Dec. 29 and would require about four more weeks.
(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)

US STOCKS-Wall St to open higher on consumer, commodity lift