Futures Rise After Production Data
U.S. stock index futures are higher after a series of government data showed some strength in the economy, including a better-than-expected reading on industrial production. WalMart and Home Depot reported better-than-expected results.
The Federal Reserve reported Industrial Production rose 1.0 percent in July on strong factory output from auto manufacturing. The results were better than the 0.7 percent expected. June's results were revised to a loss of 0.1 percent. Factory output grew by 1.1 percent in July.
Capacity utilization was reported at 74.8, better than the expected increase of 74.6 percent.
The Commerce Department said housing starts rose 1.7 percentto a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 546,000 units in July, weaker rate than expected. Forecasts called for an annual rate of 550,000 units. June's housing starts were revised to show an 8.7 percent fall, which was previously reported as a 5 percent drop.
Also, the Labor Department reportedU.S. producer prices rose by 0.2 percentin July, the first rise in four months, pulled by higher prices for food and consumer goods. The figure was in line with expectations, and follows a dip of 0.5 percent in June.
European shares were higher with miners seeing strong gains. Two important bond auctions took place in Spain and Ireland, with good demand seen for the government debt. Asian stocks ended mixed, but mostly higher.
Dow component Home Depotreported a slightly higher-than-forecast profit of 72 cents a share versus forecasts of 71 cents a share, but its second-quarter revenue missed. Also Wal-Martposted a higher-than-expected quarterly profitand raised its full-year forecast on Tuesday, helped by cost cuts and international growth. The retailer, however,
Teen retailer Abercrombie & Fitch also posted better-than-expected profits of $19.5 million or 22 cents a share. The retailer said sales were lifted by discounts in the quarter.
General Motors is expected to file its IPO paperwork Tuesday, according to multiple sources, and the offering is expected to raise between $15 billion and $20 billion, which would make it one of the largest IPOs ever.
According to a quarterly filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission, George Soros trimmed his holdings in Pfizer, JPMorgan Chase, AT&T, and Wal-Mart, while Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway cut stakes in ConocoPhillips (COP), Kraft Foods (KFT) and Procter & Gamble. Berkshire also bought shares of Fiserv and boost its stake in Johnson and Johnson.
In other news, Spain's Santander renewed talks to merge its U.S. operations with those of M&T Bank, the Financial Times reported. And Hefty bag maker Pactiv is reportedly in talks to be acquired by New Zealand's Rank Group.
- Peter Schacknow, Senior Producer, CNBC Breaking News Desk, contributed to this report.