US stock index futures pointed to a positive open Tuesday as investors hoped for the next round of stimulus from Washington and braced for a flurry of corporate earnings.
The gain came even as DuPont posted a larger-than-expected quarterly loss and lowered its 2009 outlook, saying it experienced lower paint sales because of the slump in the auto industry. Shares slipped 1.2 percent in premarket trading.
Verizon shares moved higher in premarket trading after its earnings showed a gain in line with analyst expectations, despite some headwinds from a slowdown in its wireless business. Shares gained about 1.3 percent in premarket trading.
Also, American Express gained nearly 5 percent premarket even as it posted a 72 percent slump in fourth-quarter earnings after the bell Monday. The credit-card giant cited higher loan losses, lower customer spending and a strengthening dollar for the weakness.
In more before-the-open earnings news, Bristol Myers Squibb gained more than 2 percent as its results beat expectations.
President Barack Obama will head to Capitol Hill to build support for a proposed $825 billion stimulus package. Obama says the package is key to helping the economy from its current economic slump.
The president had an early political victory Monday when Timothy Geithner won confirmation as US Treasury secretary. Geithner vowed to act quickly in the face of the financial crisis.
William Dudley will take Geithner’s old job as the head of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, a source familiar with the decision told Reuters.
In corporate news,
Texas Instruments pleased investors will a smaller-than-expected drop in quarterly profit Monday. The chip-maker said it would slash 12 percent of its workforce.
US Steel and Valero also were reporting before the bell.
On the economic front, investors will get a read on the strength of the housing market as November’s S&P/Case-Shiller House Price Index is released at 9 am New York time. And consumer confidence figures for January are out at 10 am.