Futures Gain Amid Fed Stimulus Hopes
U.S. stock index futures were higher Tuesday, as investors bet on the Federal Reserve announcing further economic stimulus measures after its monetary policy meeting.
The Fed’s two-day meeting starts on Tuesday with an announcement expected on Wednesday afternoon. Last week’s weak jobs data lifted investors’ hopes of an extension to "Operation Twist", the Fed’s effort to drive down long-term borrowing costs by selling short-dated securities. European shares were also higheron the prospect.
In Greece, political leaders raced to build a coalition government led by conservative New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras, that would seek to renegotiate the terms of Greece's 130 billion euro EU/IMF bailout agreement.
Meanwhile, the participants of the G20 summit in Mexico focused on Europe’s debt crisis, with euro zone leaders pledging to consider steps towards a banking union.
On the economic front, housing starts fell 4.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted rate of 708,000 units in May, according to the Commerce Deaprtment, below the Reuters poll forecasts for 720,000. But building permits surged to its highest in more than three years.
Facebook edged higher after brokerage Susquehanna reiterated their positive rating on the social-networking giant's shares. Facebook rallied more than 5 percent in the previous session.
Walgreen said it would buy a 45 percent stakein Alliance Boots for $6.7 billion in cash and stock, in a move that will help the drugstore chain's earnings this year.
Among earnings, FedEx declined after the package delivery company handed in current quarter and full-year guidance that missed estimates. In addition, the company said it will be taking steps to reduce costs and improve efficiencies.
Discover Financial also slipped after the credit-card provider reported earnings that fell more than 10 percent.
Oracle rallied after the tech giant posted stronger-than-expected quarterly profit Monday afternoon, releasing the results three days ahead of schedule.
Adobe is slated to post earnings after-the-bell tonight.
Also on the tech front, Microsoft unveiled its own tablet, called the Surface, in an attempt to win over some market share from Apple's iPad. The Surface will run on the company's new operating system Windows 8. The Surface tablet is 9.3 millimeters thin, weighs under 1.5 pounds and has a 10.6 inch widescreen display. It also has front and rear cameras. No pricing details were provided at the time of release.
Groupon is scheduled to hold a shareholders meeting, with Robert Bass, currently vice-chairman of Deloitte, up for election. Shares in the daily-deal website rallied on Monday after Morgan Stanley upgraded them to "overweight".
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon will return to Capitol Hill to re-testify about the financial giant’s $2 billion trading loss from a failed hedging strategy.
—By CNBC’s JeeYeon Park (Follow JeeYeon on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC)
Coming Up This Week:
TUESDAY: FOMC meeting begins, Groupon shareholders mtg; Earnings from Adobe Systems
WEDNESDAY: Weekly mortgage apps, oil inventories, FOMG mtg announcement, FOMC forecasts, Bernanke press conference; Earnings from Bed, Bath & Beyond
THURSDAY: Jobless claims, PMI manufacturing index flash, existing home sales, Philadelphia Fed survey, FHFA home price index, leading indicators, Best Buy shareholders mtg, Google shareholders mtg; Earnings from ConAgra, Rite Aid, Oracle
FRIDAY: Earnings from Darden Restaurants
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