After ending the previous session roughly flat, stocks may move to the upside in early trading on Tuesday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a moderately higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 38 points.
The upward momentum for the markets reflects optimism about the financial situation in Europe ahead of meetings of some key European leaders.
Eurogroup chief Jean-Claude Juncker is due to meet with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras in Athens on Wednesday, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande are due to meet in Berlin on Thursday.
Ahead of the meetings, Spain sold 4.5 billion euros worth of 12 and 18-month bills compared to its 3.5 billion to 4.5 billion euro target. Borrowing costs eased from a previous auction on July 17th.
Nonetheless, trading activity is likely to remain relatively subdued amid a lack of major U.S. economic data for the second straight day.
Traders may look ahead to Wednesday's report on existing home sales as well as the release of the minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy meeting.
Among individual stocks, shares of Best Buy (BBY: Quote) are likely to come under pressure after the consumer electronic retailer reported second quarter earnings that fell by much more than anticipated. The company also suspended its earnings guidance.
On the other hand, bookstore operator Barnes & Noble (BKS: Quote) may see early strength after reporting a much narrower than expected first quarter loss. The company said it benefited from strong sales of the Fifty Shades series.
After moving moderately lower in early trading on Monday, stocks moved back to the upside over the course of the session, ending the day nearly flat. A relatively light day on both the corporate and economic news fronts contributed to the lackluster performance.
The major averages ended the day almost unchanged, showing moves of less than a tenth of a percent. The Dow dipped 3.56 points to 13,271.64, the Nasdaq edged down 0.38 points to 3,076.21 and the S&P 500 inched down 0.03 points to 1,418.13.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Tuesday. China's Shanghai Composite Index and Australia's All Ordinaries Index rose by 0.5 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively, while Japan's Nikkei 225 Index bucked the uptrend and dipped by 0.2 percent.
The major European markets have also moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index has risen by 0.4 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index are advancing by 0.6 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.
In commodities trading, crude oil futures are climbing $1.16 to $97.13 a barrel after slipping $0.04 to $95.97 a barrel on Monday. Gold futures are advancing $16.20 to $1,639.20 an ounce. In the previous session, the precious metal rose $3.60 to $1,623 an ounce.
On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 79.45 yen compared to the 79.43 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Monday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.2459 compared to yesterday's $1.2346.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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