After a mixed start to the week, U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open Tuesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average possibly on track for a record performance.
- Dow 30: Extra-Hour Quotes
- Pre-Markets/Futures Data
The Dow is just a few points short of a record point gain for any one quarter—the current record is 1,339 points set in the fourth quarter of 1998. The Dow is up 1,332 points for the quarter right now with seven trading sessions remaining.
The dollar hit a fresh one-year low against the euro, which in turn boosted commodity prices and again boosted the prospects for the stock market.
Home retailing giant Lowe's affirmed its full-year profit view—its fiscal year ends Jan. 29—but warned of charges ahead that could come from weak performance at stores hit by the economy. Shares fell 1.4 percent in premarket trading.
Crude oil , which has moved in tandem with the stock market and in opposition to the dollar, gained more than $1 to inch near $71 a barrel.
On the day's economic calendar, the Federal Reserve's policy-setting Open Market Committee begins its two-day meeting, with its latest economic and interest rate pronouncement set for tomorrow afternoon at 2:15 pm New York time.
The Treasury kicks off $112 billion in debt sales this week with an auction of $43 billion dollars in two-year notes, with the results available shortly after 1 pm.
The monthly U.S. Home Price Index for July is out at 10 am, with economists looking for an increase of 0.5 percent over the prior month.
Among stocks to watch: Cadbury, which has been resisting a takeover attempt by Kraft Foods . But its CEO did admit to the Wall Street Journal that a combination with Kraft would have what he called some "complementary elements." Cadbury shares rose 1.9 percent premarket.
Bank of America is also a stock to watch today. It will now face a trial with the Securities and Exchange Commission over bonuses paid at its Merrill Lynch unit. That comes after a judge threw out a $33 million settlement between the two, saying it was unfair to shareholders. BofA shares gained 2.3 percent premarket.
Citigroup shares rose 2.5 percent in premarket trading after GIC reduced its stake in the company to less than 5 percent.
And shares of Macy's jumped 6.8 percent after Citi upgraded the retailer to a buy.
In earnings, ConAgra Foods posted quarterly profit that beat analysts' estimates and raised its earnings forecast for the full year as commodity costs eased and price increases helped lift sales. Shares were flat premarket after edging higher earlier.
Political matters will also capture investor attention today, as the Senate Finance Committee begins marking up the health care reform bill, and as world leaders convene in New York for the U.N. General Assembly.
- Peter Schacknow, Senior Producer, CNBC Breaking News Desk, contributed to this report.