US stock futures rise as Italy passes reform bill

NEW YORK (AP) ? Stock futures are edging up as new governments appear ready to take over in Italy and Greece, fueling hopes for resolving Europe’s debt crisis.

The Italian Senate passed an economic reform bill Friday, paving the way for Premier Silvio Berlusconi to step down. In Greece, a former central banker is expected to be formally sworn in Friday afternoon.

Less than two hours before the opening bell, Dow Jones industrial average futures are up 73 points, or 0.6 percent, to 11,928. S&P 500 index futures are up 9, or 0.7 percent, to 1,246. Nasdaq 100 futures are up 15, or 0.7 percent, to 2,319.

Major stock indexes still look poised to end the week lower. Worries over Italy and Greece pummeled markets Wednesday pushing the S&P 500 down 3.7 percent, its biggest loss since August. The S&P 500 is down 1 percent for the week.