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This morning, the S&P 500 Index e-mini futures (ES Z1) are trading sharply higher, gaining 17.00 points to 1260.50 per contract. The early rally in the futures comes on positive comments out of the European Union. Italian prime minister Mario Monti is releasing a new austerity package for Italy. This helped to bring down the yields in the Italian bonds. Later today, Germany's Angela Merkel and France's Nicolas Sarkozy are meeting in Paris, France to discuss the a new plan for the European Union. Traders and investors must always be careful when it comes to new plans by France and Germany. Often, there have been sell offs when the plans outlined lack details and seem to just be random thoughts by the heads of state.