After moving sharply lower over the course of the previous session, stocks may regain some ground in early trading on Tuesday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a modestly higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 21 points.
Bargain hunting is likely to contribute to any early strength on Wall Street after worries about the ongoing European debt crisis dragged the major averages firmly into negative territory on Monday.
Nonetheless, the lingering concerns about the financial situation in Europe are likely to keep buying interest relatively subdued.
Reflecting the continued troubles in Europe, ratings agency Moody's downgraded the long-term debt and deposit ratings for 28 Spanish banks. The downgrades came after Spain formally asked for a bailout to shore up its ailing banking sector.
Moody's noted that the downgrades follow the weakening of the Spanish government's creditworthiness and also reflect the lowering of most of the banks' standalone credit assessments.
Trading could also be impacted by the release of Standard & Poor's report on home prices in major U.S. metropolitan areas in the month of April. Economists expect the report to show a 0.4 percent monthly increase in prices.
The Conference Board is also scheduled to release its monthly report on consumer confidence not long after the open. The consumer confidence index is expected to drop to 63.5 in June from 64.9 in May.
In corporate news, shares of News Corp. (NWS) could be in focus after the Wall Street Journal reported that the media giant is considering splitting its publishing and entertainment businesses into two companies. News Corp. is the parent of the Wall Street Journal.
by RTT Staff Writer
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