Futures Eke Up; Some Optimism Returns


Futures indicated a slightly higher open for Wall Street Tuesday as doubts about the sustainability of a global economic recovery dimmed.

European stocks eked higher as investors dropped defensive stocks like heath care and telecoms for mining stocks. Asian stocks closed mostly lower on the day.

The energy sector was in focus as oil prices pared earlier losses to trade above $64 a barrel and Barclays cut its price targets for oil giants like Chevron and ConocoPhilips , while raising its targets for Exxon Mobil and Murphy Oil .

The UK bank cut Chevron's price target to $96 from $99 with an 'overweight' rating; it lowered its price target for ConocoPhilips to $59 from $61 with an 'equal weight' rating.

Barclays raised Exxon Mobil's price target to $91 from $87, with an 'equal weight' rating and increased its target for Murphy Oil to $73 from $72, also with an 'equal weight' rating.

U.S. auto parts maker Lear officially filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Tuesday, a day after laying out plans to restructure its $3.6 billion debt burden under a proposed deal with creditors, according to Reuters.

The most notable event for the day may be the auction of 3-year Treasury notes, with the results expected shortly after 1 pm New York time.

President Obama spoke in Moscow, Russia Tuesday morning and called for "more than a fresh start between the Kremlin and the White House." "It won't be easy. It is difficult to forge a lasting partnership between former adversaries and to change habits that have been ingrained in our governments for decades," he said in a speech at a Moscow university.

A second fiscal stimulus package for the U.S. is being hotly contested as government adviser Laura D'Andrea Tyson said in a seminar in Singapore on Tuesday. She said the first package of $787 billion was smaller than she would have liked and that a possible second package should be focused on infrastructure investment, Reuters reported.