Stock index futures were mixed ahead of the open Tuesday as investors kept a wary eye on events still developing in Japan and Libya.
Smoke and steam rose from two of the most threatening reactors at Japan's quake-crippled nuclear plant, suggesting the battle to avert a disastrous meltdown and stop the spread of radiation was far from won. Another 6.3 magnitude earthquake shook Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures in northeast Japan Tuesday morning.
The president of the Tokyo stock exchange told CNBC said the bourse was not considering shortening trading hours to deal with the electricity shortage Japan faces following the devastating earthquake. Shares in Japan rose 4 percent on Tuesday.
Oil pricesare once again on the rise after a third night of air strikes on the Libyan capitalTripoli.
“Oil isn’t going down anytime soon," Rachel Ziemba, senior research analyst for Roubini Global Economics (RGE), told CNBC. “The question is, when it spikes to 150 (dollars), do people expect it to stay there? What if it averages 115-120 (dollars) a barrel?.”
RGE predicts that at that point the global economy would be spending almost 6 percent of GDP on oil. “In the past that has always preceded recession. We’re already starting to see a slowing global growth,” she said.
There is little news on the economic front today, except for the Federal Housing Finance Authority’s monthly house price data will be released at 10 a.m.
In company news, the CTIA wireless conference kicks off in Orlando Tuesday. (CNBC.com will be streaming the keynote addresses live between 9 and 10:30 a.m.)
, whose stock fell 14 percent on Monday in the wake of AT&T's acquisition of T-Mobile, will be among the talking points. Many investors had expected the logical partner for T-Mobile to be Sprint.
Walgreen fell despite reporting sales above expectations, while Dollar General rose after reporting a doubling in its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings.
Shares of Tiffany traded flat after the luxury jeweler cut its first quarter outlook because it had to close stores in Japan after the earthquake and tsunami, even as the company reported a 29 percent jump in fourth quarter income on strong demand both domestically and overseas.
And Bristol-Myers Squibb rose more than 5 percent in after-market trading after receving good news from a trial for its melanoma drug ipilimumab.
Research in Motion's tablet, the Blackberry Playbook, will go on sale April 19 for $499, the company said Tuesday.
Netflix gained after Credit Suisse raised the movie rental firm to "outperform" from "neutral."
On Tap This Week:
TUESDAY: CTIA Wireless Convention; after-the-bell earnings from Adobe.
WEDNESDAY: Caterpillar analyst meeting; annual meetings for Disney, HP and Starbucks; mortgage applications, new home sales, oil inventories; before-the-bell earnings from General Mills.
THURSDAY: EU summit; durable goods, jobless claims, natural gas inventories, 10-year TIPS auction, money supply; before-the-bell earnings from Best Buy and ConAgra; after-the-bell earnings from Oracle, Research in Motion.
FRIDAY: USDA food prices outlook; GDP revision, corporate profits, and consumer sentiment.
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