Futures Hold Gains After Case-Shiller Report
U.S. stock market index futures were sharply higher Tuesday, as investors returned from a long holiday weekend, amid supportive comments from central banks around the world and an upbeat housing report.
Last week, all three major averages logged weekly losses, halting five weeks of gains, on worries the Federal Reserve may soon start to curtail its bond buying.
Single-family home prices rose 1.1 percent in March, according to the S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas, logging their best annual gain in nearly seven years. Economists expected a reading of 1 percent. Prices in the 20 cities jumped 10.9 percent year over year, beating expectations for 10.2 percent and the biggest increase since April 2006.
Also on the economic front, the Conference Board's latest consumer confidence survey will be reported at 10 am ET. The Dallas and Richmond Feds will also issue their latest economic activity readings later this morning.
Both the Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank reaffirmed that their policies would remain in place. On Monday, ECB Executive Board member Joerg Asmussen said the policy would stay as long as necessary. On Tuesday, BOJ board member Ryuzo Miyao said it was vital to keep long- and short-term interest rates stable.
Japan's benchmark stock index closed higher on Tuesday after three days of turbulence. The Nikkei managed to stabilize after a shaky morning session, which saw the index zigzag between gains and losses, after shedding 1 percent at the open.
"There still seems to be a large amount of confusion in the market as to whether the Bank of Japan is trying to engineer lower yields through its bond-buying program, or higher yields, or create negative real bond yields. It seems that until this point is made clear, then confusion will hold the equity market back from resuming its trend," said Chris Weston, market strategist at IG, in a note.
Economic releases will be in focus in the U.S. on Tuesday, after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's hints that he will start to cut back on asset purchases if data indicates sufficient improvements in the economy.
(Read More: Finally, Clarity From the Fed! Or Maybe Not ...)
"We look for the Conference Board's index of consumer confidence to rise further, to 72.5 in May, after printing 68.1 in April," said Barclays analysts Rahul Bajoria and Michael Gavin in a research note. "Underlying our forecast are jobless claims, which have fallen from their April levels, and equity markets, which have continued their upward trend dating back to the end of last year."
Among earnings, Tiffany shot higher after the upscale jeweler posted better-than-expected quarterly results. Last year, Tiffany's results were hurt by signs of a slowdown in China and disappointing sales of its silver jewelry.
The Treasury is scheduled to auction $35 billion of 2-year notes with the results available shortly after 1pm ET.
—By CNBC's JeeYeon Park. Follow JeeYeon on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC
Coming Up This Week:
TUESDAY: Consumer confidence, Richmond Fed mfg index, Dallas Fed mfg survey, 2-yr note auction
WEDNESDAY: MBA mortgage applicaitons, Bank of Canada announcement, 5-yr note auction, ExxonMobil shareholder mtg; Earnings from Chico's, Michael Kors
THURSDAY: GDP, jobless claims, corporate profits, pending home sales index, natural gas inventories, oil inventories, 7-yr note auction, Fed balance sheet/money supply; Earnings from Costco, Joy Global, Lions Gate Ent.
FRIDAY: Personal income & outlays, Chicago PMI, consumer sentiment, farm prices, OPEC mtg
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