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US Stocks Seen Higher, Following Asia, Europe Lead


U.S. stock index futures pointed higher open on Tuesday, taking their cue from upward moves in European and Asian markets.


In Asia, investors largely ignored unexpectedly high consumer inflation numbers from China, despite fears that strong price rises will rule out the prospect of monetary easing by the Chinese central bank.


"CPI [consumer price inflation] data is not a market mover. Short-term focus is still on shadow banking. Investors are wondering if China's banking system can sustain a decline in GDP [gross domestic product] growth," said Stephen Sheung, head of investment strategy at SHK Private.


Meanwhile, Japan's benchmark index closed just shy of a new six-week high, as the dollar-yen trade breached the 101-yen handle.


In Europe, shares mirrored gains to U.S.stocks seen in the previous session, after market bellwether Alcoa kicked off second-quarter earnings season with forecast-beating numbers.


The company posted earnings of 7 cents a share on revenues of $5.85 billion, down from $5.96 billion a year ago. Analysts were expecting earnings of 6 cents per share, on revenues of $5.83 billion. The stock initially jumped, but fell back and registered a slight after-hours loss.


Tuesday will be a quiet day for second quarter earnings, with reports from Wolverine Worldwide (WWW) before the start of trade, and Helen of Troy (HELE) afterwards.


As of Friday, 122 S&P 500 companies had made earnings pre-announcements, and the ratio of negative-to-positive ones was 6.5-to-one, according to Reuters. That is the biggest percent of negative readings since 2001.


In other stock news, Blackberry (BBRY) will hold its annual meeting at 10 a.m. ET, ahead of its trading update on Wednesday. The Canadian smartphone maker will likely face tough questions, after last week's poor quarterly results triggered a 28-percent plummet in share price.


In addition, New-York-based investment bank Allen & Co will host its annual conference in Sun Valley, Idaho. Big names expected to attend include New Jersey governor Christ Christie, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and News Corp's Rupert Murdoch, according to a guest list seen by Variety magazine.


Tuesday will be a quiet day for U.S. economic news, with attention on the NFIB small business survey, due at 7:30 a.m. Plus, the Treasury will hold its $32 billion 3-year at 1 p.m.


In other news, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will release its "World Economic Outlook" on Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. ET. The head of the organization, Christine Lagarde, hinted at the weekend that the IMF could trim global growth forecasts.


By CNBC's Katy Barnato