U.S. stock futures were pointing to gains at Tuesday's open after two Dow component retailers, Walmart and Home Depot, reported stronger earnings. The S&P 500 finished Monday's session just over 4 points below its last closing record of 3,386.15 on Feb. 19. The S&P 500 has rebounded more than 50% since hitting its coronavirus-driven low of 2,191.86 on March 23.
On Tuesday's economic calendar, the government reported much better than expected numbers on July housing starts and building permits. Starts surged 22.6% and permits jumped nearly 19%.
Shares of Walmart, which logged an all-time high Monday, rose as much as 6% in the premarket after the company blew away expectations with adjusted per-share earnings of $1.56 on a 5.6% total revenue increase to $137.74 billion. Online sales during the pandemic nearly doubled as customers got packages shipped their homes and used curbside pickup at physical stores. The stock has since pulled back.
Shares of Home Depot rose 1% in Tuesday's premarket after the home improvement retailer delivered a 23% increase in second-quarter sales as consumers take on more DIY projects in pandemic. Revenue of $38.05 billion was better than expected and so was adjusted per-share profit of $4.02. Home Depot's stock also hit an all-time high during Monday's trading.
The all-virtual Democratic National Convention continues Tuesday night, with progressive champion Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaking. Former President Bill Clinton and Joe Biden's wife, Jill, close out the evening, which starts at 9 p.m. ET.
On Day 1 of the convention, former first lady Michelle Obama delivered a searing address, saying President Donald Trump is "clearly in over his head" and "cannot meet this moment." Sen. Bernie Sanders also spoke Monday night, saying the "future of our democracy is at stake" to vote out Trump and elect Biden.
The Trump administration is willing to support funding for the U.S. Postal Service if it accompanies a package of coronavirus stimulus measures, according to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. The Hill reports that Senate Republicans could unveil such a plan as early as Tuesday, including $10 billion for the post office, a $300-per-week federal unemployment pandemic boost and additional funding for coronavirus testing and schools.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is canceling in-person undergraduate classes and shifting them entirely to remote learning following a coronavirus outbreak across campus just two weeks after students returned for the fall semester. Courses in the graduate, professional and health affairs schools will "continue to be taught as they are, or as directed by the schools." UNC still plans play sports this fall.
Despite coronavirus work-from-home trends and people bolting for the suburbs, Amazon is expanding offices in six major cities and preparing to add 3,500 jobs. Amazon plans to put 2,000 of those new workers in New York City's historic Fifth Avenue building that once housed retailer Lord & Taylor. The e-commerce and cloud giant bought the location from WeWork for more than $1 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Oracle is in talks to buy TikTok's U.S., Canadian, Australian and New Zealand assets, according to a person familiar with the matter. Oracle's interest challenges Microsoft, which has been in talks to acquire the same TikTok assets for more than a month. Trump issued an executive order Friday to force Chinese owner ByteDance to sell or spin off its U.S. TikTok business within 90 days.
— Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report. Follow all the developments on Wall Street in real-time with CNBC's live markets blog. Get the latest on the pandemic with our coronavirus blog.