Futures Higher Ahead of Bernanke; GS Climbs

CNBC.com and Reuters

U.S. stock index futures were higher Tuesday following a batch of better-than-expected earnings and as investors speculated Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke may give fresh clues about further stimulus measures on the heels of several weak economic reports pointing to an economic slowdown.

Bernanke testifies before the U.S. Senate Banking Committee at 10 am ET time with financial markets hanging on his testimony for any clues as to how close the Fed may be to launching another round of bond purchases.

"Investors still seem to be worried that the U.S. economy is not growing fast enough and could be at risk of falling back into recession," wrote Gary Thayer, chief macro strategist at Wells Fargo Advisors. "Therefore, it would be important to see if Fed Chairman Bernanke can deliver a message which highlights the economic improvement during the past few years and at at the same time, repeats the Fed's willingness to provide more help to boost growth if needed."

On the economic front, consumer prices were , in line with expectations, as the cost of gasoline dropped, according to the Labor Department. And excluding food and energy, core CPI gained 0.2 percent for the fourth-consecutive month.

Industrial production gained 0.4 percent in June, according to the Federal Reserve, while capacity utilization was 78.8 percent. Economists polled by Reuters expected an increase of 0.3 percent and a reading of 79.2 percent capacity utilization.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo issues its July housing market index at 10:00 am ET. Economists expect a reading of 30 versus 29 in June.

Bernanke Heads to Capitol Hill

Among earnings, Goldman Sachs jumped after the financial giant blew past estimates, despite a substantial drop from last year.

Coca-Cola gained after the world's biggest beverage producer posted a , thanks to increased sales volume.

But fellow Dow component Johnson & Johnson reported earnings in line with expectations, while of analysts' estimates. Shares of the drugmaker edged lower.

Intel , Yahoo and CSX are slated to post earnings after the closing bell. Yahoo's results come a day after after the Internet company appointed Google's Marissa Mayer as its new President and CEO.

but gains were limited in anticipation of Bernanke’s testimony.

In Asia overnight, Japan's Nikkei share average rose 0.4 percent after the finance ministry, reacting to the yen hitting a one-month high against the dollar, warned it would intervene if necessary to curb excessive movements in the currency market.

—By CNBC’s JeeYeon Park (Follow JeeYeon on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC)

Coming Up This Week:

TUESDAY: Housing market index, Ben Bernanke speaks, Cleveland Fed Pres speaks, Google Ideas conf.; Earnings from Intel, Yahoo, CSX
WEDNESDAY: Weekly mortgage apps, housing starts, Ben Bernanke speaks, Fed's Beige Book; Earnings from BofA, Abbott Labs, Honeywell, PNC Bank, USBancorp., AmEx, IBM (tentative), Qualcomm, Ebay, Yum Brands
THURSDAY: Jobless claims, existing home sales, Philadelphia Fed survey, leading indicators; Earnings from Morgan Stanley, Novartis, Philip Morris, Travelers, Verizon, AutoNation, BB&T, Blackstone, Nokia, Southwest Airlines, Google, Microsoft, AMD, Capital One, Chipotle, ETrade, Sandisk
FRIDAY: Fender and Kayak trading debut; Earnings from GE, Schlumberger, Xerox

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