U.S. Stock Futures Advance Amid Optimism on U.S. Budget Progress

Higher bar for tax increases on deck

U.S. stock futures rose, indicating the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index will extend an eight-week high, amid optimism that President Barack Obama and Republicans will reach agreement on a new budget.

Apple Inc., the world’s most valuable company, added 1.4 percent. Bank of America Corp. and Morgan Stanley rose more than 0.9 percent to pace gains in financial shares.

The reports from Citigroup Inc., Pacific Crest Securities, Mizuho Securities USA, BMO Capital Markets and Canaccord Genuity mark a reversal from earlier this year, when analysts were racing to issue upbeat predictions, with at least two saying Apple would top $1,000. Instead, the shares have dropped more than 25 percent from a September record amid speculation the iPhone is saturating the market, ratcheting up pressure on Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook to introduce a new hit product.

Separately, Samsung Electronics Co. said today that it will withdraw patent lawsuits targeting Apple’s use of its technology in European countries.

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