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Dollar Strength Boosts Stock Futures

U.S. stock index futures indicated a slightly higher open for Wall Street on Tuesday as the dollar strengthened.

Prices of U.S. single-family homes dropped by a record 15.4 percentin the second quarter, according to a Standard & Poor's/Case Shiller report. A composite index of 10 metropolitan areas fell 0.6 percent in June from May but were down a whopping 17 percent from a year earlier.

New-home sales data will be out at 10 a.m. ET and are forecast to have fallen by 5,000 on an annualized basis to 525,000 in July. Also at 10 is a report on consumer confidence.

The dollar firmed to a six-month high against the euro after data showed that German business sentiment fell to a three-year low. Oil ticked higher.

In earnings news, corporate miner Rio Tinto posted a 55 percent jump in first-half profit, on the back of its 2007 takeover of Alcan and strong Chinese demand, and raised its dividend.

American Eagle and Smithfield Foods will also report earnings before the bell.

In other corporate news, Delta Air Lines said it tapped a $1 billion loan ahead of its planned merger with Northwest Airlines and renegotiated its credit-card agreement to ensure revenue is turned over in a timely manner.

Asian stocks finished lower on credit worries, while European markets were also in the red on worries about the economy and the health of banks.

THIS WEEK:

MONDAY-THURSDAY: Democratic National Convention in Denver

TUESDAY: ICSC chain-store sales; Case-Shiller home-price index; new-home sales; Richmond Fed report; consumer confidence; Fed minutes; Census bureau releases 2007 stats; Farmers' Almanac 2009 hits stores, predicts colder winter; Earnings from Smithfield Foods, Big Lots
WEDNESDAY: Weekly mortgage applications; durable goods; Fed's Lockhart speaks; weekly crude inventories; Report from Chicago Fed; Earnings from American Eagle, Dollar Tree
THURSDAY: Jobless claims; GDP, corporate profits; natural-gas inventories; Earnings from Sears Holdings, Tiffany and Dell; Barack Obama's acceptance speech
FRIDAY: Personal income and spending; Chicago manuf. report; consumer sentiment; farm prices

WATCHERS: McCain VP announcement

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