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US futures higher after upbeat Yellen remarks

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open Tuesday, tracking gains in Europe and Asia where upbeat comments by U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on the U.S. economy gave markets a lift.

U.S. stocks closed higher Monday, with energy leading as oil rose, after the comments from Yellen. She omitted specific reference to the timing of a rate hike in her midday remarks at the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia but said the Fed funds rate probably needs to rise gradually over time.

Revised U.S. productivity showed a decline of 0.6 percent in the first quarter, while unit labor costs rose 4.5 percent.

Consumer credit data is released at 3 p.m.

In stocks news, embattled drugmaker Valeant reported first-quarter earnings and the stock fell more than 10 percent in the premarket.

Yahoo shares were down 1 percent in premarket trade after the Wall Street Journal, citing a person familiar with the matter, reported Verizon Communications planned to submit a second-round bid of $3 billion for Yahoo's core internet business.

Sarepta shares were up 30 percent in pre-market trade after the group said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had requested more data from a study for its muscle-wasting treatment. Investors hoped the agency would approve the drug.

Also in focus after raising its quarterly dividend by 60 percent to 40 cents per share was Fedex, while United Natural Foods raised its full-year outlook.