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Stock Futures Rise Ahead of Fiscal Summit


NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stock futures rise as the markets awaited the initial meeting between the White House and congressional leaders for fiscal cliff discussions.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were rising 10 points, or 25.62 points above fair value, at 12,532. Futures for the S&P 500 were up more than 2 points, or 3.32 points above fair value, at 1353. Futures for the Nasdaq were up by 7.50 points, or 6.69 points above fair value, at 2529.

"I doubt we'll see anything concrete for quite a while," said Stephen Guilfoyle, U.S. economist at Meridian Equity Partners, of the budget negotiations. "I am certain that both sides will come out and say something positive because that's their job. They're going to make their constituents think they're working for them, and they're trying to make the press and the markets believe that things are moving in the right direction, so you'll probably hear some positive headlines."

"The market wants to move, so the market is going to look at every little headline, every little snippet, every little gaffe, they're going to magnify those, and I think they will react in kind," said Guilfoyle.

President Barack Obama on Friday will meet with both Democrat and Republican leaders at the White House for preliminary talks about how to prevent the U.S. from falling over the so-called fiscal cliff of automatic spending cuts and tax increases of about $600 billion, set to hit on Jan. 1.

Earlier this week, the president again stressed his commitment to ending Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans during a press conference. The president's firm stance sets the stage for a tough battle with Republicans toward compromise on the next federal budget.

Stocks have been on a downward slide this week as investors worried about the U.S.'s inability to avoid the fiscal cliff, which could push the country into recession.

On Thursday, stocks fell after the latest data on the employment picture and manufacturing activity disappointed investors.

The Federal Reserve is expected to say at 9:15 a.m. EST Friday that industrial production rose 0.2% in October after increasing by 0.4% in September, and to report capacity utilization levels of 78.3%, similar to the previous month.

The European markets were also weak Friday. The FTSE 100 in London was down by 0.67%, while the DAX in Germany was off 0.48%.

On Friday, Greece looked to have managed to avoid defaulting on Treasury bills after raising enough proceeds through bond auctions this week, though it still remains in urgent need of bailout money.

Eurozone finance ministers are expected to convene next Tuesday to discuss unlocking more financial aid for the country.

"I don't know how going forward they're Greece is going to do anything other than beg for these loans that they need from the Troika," said Guilfoyle. "Now, should we go that route? I don't know. I think the Troika needs to cut the official sector debt, but they should cut the official sector debt the way they gave their private sector the hair cut. So if the official sector were to take a hair cut, they could really help Greece out. The official sector has owed 70% of all the money that Greece owes."

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