Forex Pros – U.S. stock futures pointed to a higher open on Tuesday, as market sentiment was boosted by a flurry of upbeat corporate earnings reports and as traders awaited U.S. data on house prices and consumer confidence.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed a gain of 0.2%, the S&P 500 futures indicated a rise of 0.25%, while Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 0.1%.
The largest U.S. homebuilder Lennar saw shares climb 1.5% in pre-market trade after it swung to a first quarter profit of USD27.4 million, compared to a loss of USD6.5 million a year earlier. Revenue in the quarter fell to USD558 million, less than the expected decline to USD514.6 million.
Retail-apparel company Phillips-Van Heusen jumped 4% after it said fourth quarter earnings soared by 93% from a year earlier, as sales were boosted by the company’s USD3 billion acquisition of Tommy Hilfiger earlier in the year.
Also Tuesday, the world’s largest spice company McCormick & Company saw shares add 1% after it said first quarter earnings rose 13%, as sales in North America and the Asia- Pacific region offset declines in the Europe, Middle East and Africa segment.
However, shares in Apollo Group, the largest for-profit college in the U.S. tumbled 8.7% after it reported a second quarter net loss of USD64 million, compared to a profit of USD92.6 million a year earlier, citing higher marketing expenses and declining enrollment.
U.S. listed shares of oil and gas giant British Petroleum slipped 2.5% amid reports the U.S. Justice Department was considering whether to pursue manslaughter charges against company officials, including former CEO Tony Hayward for decisions made before the Gulf of Mexico oil well explosion that killed 11 workers last spring.
Other stocks in focus included General Electric, which agreed to purchase a 90% stake in privately-held power-conversion specialist Converteam for approximately USD3.2 billion, and Halliburton, which said that disruptions in the Middle East and North Africa would “severely” cut first quarter earnings.
Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were broadly lower as shares in the financial sector performed poorly. The EURO STOXX 50 slumped 0.45%, France’s CAC 40 slipped 0.25%, Germany’s DAX dropped 0.5%, while Britain’s FTSE 100 eased down 0.1%.
During the Asian trading session, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index closed 0.21% lower after Goldman Sachs lowered its growth forecast for the country to 0.7% from a previous estimate of 1.3%.
Later in the day, the U.S. was to publish data on consumer confidence compiled by the Conference Board as well as industry data on house prices.
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