NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — U.S. stock futures pointed to a slightly upbeat open on Wall Street on Tuesday, as the earnings season continued at full speed, including results from Sprint, Coach and Merck, among others.
In economic news, home prices were nearly unchanged in February. Investors await consumer-confidence data after the market open.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 45 points, or 0.3%, to 16,442, while those for the S&P 500 index gained 4.5 points, or 0.2%, to 1,870.50. Futures for the Nasdaq 100 index put on 7 points, or 0.2%, to 3,5478.
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The advances came after a choppy trading day on Monday, when most benchmarks swung wildly between gains and losses, but settled higher.
In Tuesday’s trade, stock futures tracked European markets higher, where an easing in geopolitical tensions between Russia and the West helped send bourses higher. Late Monday, Moscow assured Washington that it won't invade Ukraine , while reports said Russian troops had left the Ukrainian border and returned to their base. Asia markets closed mixed .
Traders also waited for the latest corporate news and fresh macroeconomic data for clues on whether to push the markets higher.
Among data highlights, the Conference Board’s consumer-confidence index is expected to reflect the hope that better days lie ahead when the April report is released at 10 a.m. Eastern Time. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch expect the Conference Board’s consumer-confidence index to climb to 83.3 in April from 82.3 in March.
If the estimates are right, such an increase in confidence would boost the index to its highest level since November 2007 — one month before the Great Recession started.
U.S. home prices were nearly unchanged in February, after slumping 0.1% in each month since November, according to S&P/Case-Shiller’s 20-city composite index released Tuesday. After seasonal adjustments, home prices in February rose 0.8%.
In corporate news, several prominent companies reported early Tuesday. Sprint Corp. shares rose more than 3% in premarket action after the company posted a loss of 4 cents a share, against forecasts for a loss of 9 cents, in the first quarter.
Merck & Co. /zigman2/quotes/209956077/composite MRK -0.31% rose 0.8% premarket after it reported adjusted earnings of 88 cents a share, against forecasts for 79 cents a share, in the first quarter. Coach Inc. shares fell 3.6% after the luxury-goods retailer reported weak North American sales.
Shares of Archer Daniels Midland Co. /zigman2/quotes/203479136/composite ADM +0.91% dropped 2% after the company’s first-quarter profit and sales missed analysts’ forecasts.
Shares of Amicus Therapeutics Inc. /zigman2/quotes/200046487/composite FOLD -3.69% soared 25% in premarket trading after the company announced positive data in a study of a drug to treat patients with Fabry disease.
After the closing bell, Twitter Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203180645/composite TWTR -3.68% is projected to report a loss of 3 cents a share in the first quarter, according to a consensus survey by FactSet. “We believe Twitter will continue to benefit from its mobile-centric offering,” Youssef Squali at Cantor Fitzgerald said in a report. “Similar to Facebook, high mobile contribution should power overall growth.”