US Markets

US stock futures mildly lower amid earnings, trade data


U.S. stock-index futures declined slightly on Tuesday, as Wall Street considered first-quarter earnings and trade data for March.

Stock futures offered muted reaction after the government reported the U.S. trade deficit for March came in at $40.38 billion, from $41.87 billion in February.

Office Depot gained in early New York trading after the retailer said it would close at least 400 stores in the United States, including 150 locations this year. The company posted a net loss of $109 million, or 21 cents a share, for the first quarter.

Wall Street closed higher by around 0.2 percent on Monday, after ISM data showed service sector activity grew at the fastest pace in eight months in April.

This provided a positive lead to Asian and European markets on Tuesday. However, downward pressure came in Europe from the continued violence in Ukraine. Fighting continues around the country's eastern border and this is expected to continue to drive safe-haven assets like gold higher.

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In stock news, General Electric's bid for Alstom's energy assets was rejected by the French government on Monday, but a deal which also combines the two companies' rail businesses may be in the pipeline.

Bayer on Tuesday said it would acquire the consumer business of Merck & Co for $14.2 billion in cash, the latest deal in a spree of activity in the pharmaceutical space.

U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer suffered a blow to its bid to acquire smaller U.K. rival AstraZeneca, after the latter bolstered its defenses by announcing the earlier-than-expected approval of a new drug.

Read MoreAZ defense against Pfizer boosted by FDA approval