U.S. stock index futures made modest gains ahead of the open Tuesday in the wake of a lower close for the major indexes in the previous session after Moody's downgraded Greece's credit rating to junk status Monday.
European shares were mostly lower with banking stocks seeing the steepest declines after the Moody's downgrade. Asian stocks managed to close mostly higher, but gains were limited in cautious trading.
Among the economic reports due today, the government will release import/export prices for May, while the New York Federal Reserve Bank is out with the June Empire State survey, a measure of manufacturing activity in New York State.
Both of those reports are out at 8:30 am New York time. At 9 am, the Treasury releases the Treasury international capital data, which measures the movement of overseas investment dollars in and out of the United States. And at 1 pm, the National Association of Home Builders releases its monthly sentiment index, expected to remain steady for June at a reading of 22.
The earnings calendar is relatively light, but the nation's largest electronics retailer Best Buy is expected to release results at approximately 8 am.
Also in corporate news, Apple launched a new version of the Mac mini, its lowest priced computer, which will start at $699.
BP remained under intense political pressure ahead of a Congressional hearing featuring the company's U.S. chief executive. President Obama will give a primetime speech on the oil spill. Reuters reported that BP hired investment banksBlackstone Group, Goldman Sachs, and Credit Suisse as advisers, but did not elaborate on the purpose of the advice.
In London, shares of BP turned negative after Fitch cut the oil major's debt rating to 'BBB' from 'AA' citing the risk of higher near-term costs, but later came back as investors shrugged off the move, since the oil company is still rated in investment grade territory.