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Stocks May Open Higher On Upbeat Earnings News - U.S. Commentary

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After ending the previous session modestly lower, stocks are likely to move back to the 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 154 points.

The markets are likely to benefit from a positive reaction to earnings news from Dow components UnitedHealth (UNH) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ).

Shares of UnitedHealth are moving notably higher in pre-market trading after the health insurer reported better than expected first quarter results and raised its full-year earnings guidance.

Healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson may also see initial strength after reporting first quarter results that exceeded analyst estimates and boosting its forecast for full-year sales growth.

On the other hand, shares of Bank of America (BAC) may move to the downside after the financial giant reported first quarter earnings that beat estimates but weaker than expected revenues.

Just before the start of trading, the Federal Reserve is scheduled to release its report on industrial production in the month of March.

Economists expected industrial production to rise by 0.2 percent in March after revised data showed no change in February.

The National Association of Homebuilders is also due to release its report on homebuilder confidence in the month of April. The housing market index is expected to inch up to 63 in April from 62 in March.

Stocks saw modest weakness throughout much of the trading session on Monday, but the major averages ended the day well off their worst levels.

The major averages finished the session just below the unchanged line. The Dow slipped 26.53 points or 0.1 percent to 26,384.77, the Nasdaq dipped 8.15 points or 0.1 percent to 7,976.01 and the S&P 500 edged down 1.83 points or 0.1 percent to 2,905.58.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Tuesday. Japan's Nikkei Index crept up by 0.2 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite Index soared by 2.4 percent.

The major European markets have also moved to the upside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index has inched up by 0.1 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.5 percent and the German DAX Index is up by 0.7 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are rising $0.33 to $63.73 barrel after falling $0.49 to $63.40 a barrel on Monday. Meanwhile, after sliding $3.90 to $1,291.30 ounce in the previous session, gold futures are tumbling $10 to $1,281.30 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 111.99 yen compared to the 112.04 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Monday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1299 compared to yesterday's $1.1304.

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