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Stocks May See Early Strength On Upbeat Earnings News - U.S. Commentary


After moving mostly higher over the course of the previous session, stocks could see some further upside in early trading on Tuesday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 53 points.

The upward momentum for the markets is partly due to a positive reaction to the latest batch of earnings news, including quarterly results from Dow components DuPont (DD) and Travelers (TRV).

DuPont reported first quarter adjusted earnings of $1.56 per share, exceeding analyst estimates for $1.52 per share. The chemical giant also reported sales for the quarter that came in line with expectations and reaffirmed its full-year guidance.

Insurance giant Travelers also reported first quarter earnings that came in above expectations and raised its quarterly dividend to $0.50 per share.

Additionally, shares of Netflix (NFLX) are moving sharply higher in pre-market trading after the company reported much better than expected first quarter earnings on a notable increase in subscribers.

The markets may also benefit from optimism about an interest rate cut by the European Central Bank following the release of a disappointing reading on private sector activity in the euro-zone.

Markit's flash estimates showed that the composite output index measuring the performance of the manufacturing and service sectors was unchanged at 46.5 in April. A reading below 50 indicates a contraction in activity.

Ben May, European Economist at Capital Economics, said the data provides "further signs that the improvement in market sentiment alone will not be enough to drag the euro-zone out of recession."

Optimism about an interest rate cut in Europe helped to offset the negative sentiment generated by disappointing Chinese manufacturing data.

Stocks moved mostly higher over the course of the trading day on Monday, partly offsetting the steep losses that were posted last week. The upward move on the day reflected strong gains by technology and resource stocks.

The major averages all ended the day in positive territory, although the Dow underperformed its counterparts. While the Dow edged up 19.66 points or 0.1 percent to 14,567.17, the Nasdaq climbed 27.49 points or 0.9 percent to 3,233.55 and the S&P 500 rose 7.25 points or 0.5 percent to 1,562.50.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Tuesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index ended the day down by 0.3 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite Index tumbled by 2.6 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have moved sharply higher on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index has surged up by 2.5 percent, the German DAX Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index are up by 1.7 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively.

In commodities trading, crude oil for January delivery is sliding $0.99 to $88.46 a barrel in its first day of trading as the front month contract. Gold futures are dipping $3.10 to $1,418.10 an ounce. In the previous session, the precious metal rose $25.60 to $1,421.20 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 98.91 yen compared to the 99.22 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Monday. Against the euro, the dollar is trading at $1.2986 compared to yesterday's $1.3066.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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