Futures were lower Tuesday even after a report that said home prices gained for the third straight month in June. Investors also waited for a key consumer confidence report later today to provide a greater indication of the state of the U.S. economy.
Spring buying helped boost home prices up for a third straight month in June, according to the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home-price index. The index showed that prices increased in the 19 of the 20 major cities tracked in June.
The Conference Board releases August consumer confidence at 10:00 ET with economists polled by Reuters saying they expect a reading of 52 compared with 59.5 in July.
The Federal Open Market Committee also issues minutes from its meeting of August 9 at 2pm ET.
In corporate news Peabody Energy and ArcelorMittal were reported to have won over Macarthur Coal with a sweetened $5.2 billion takeover offer, after a rival bidder failed to emerge for the Australian coal miner.
And India's Future Group is in talks with a clutch of potential buyers including JPMorgan and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts to sell its financial services arm.
On the earnings front, Dollar General gained after the retailer
Meanwhile, Barnes & Noble reported a narrower quarterly loss as sales of the bookstore chain's e-reader helped mitigate declining book sales.
Oil prices rose for a sixth straight session, boosted by a bank merger deal in Greece and strong data from the U.S. that allayed fears the world's top oil consumer was sliding back into recession.
Meanwhile Bill Gross, manager of the world’s largest bond fund forPimco, admitted that it was a mistake to bet so heavily against the price of U.S. government debt.
Gross dumped his $244 billion Total Return Fund of U.S. government-related securities earlier this year in a high-profile call that has backfired as the bond market has rallied.
His comments came as the IMG was preparing to slash its growth forecast for the U.S. and say the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank must be ready to ease policy.
The IMF will sharply revise down its forecast for US 2011 growth to 1.6 percent from a 2.5 percent forecast made just two months ago, according to reports from ANSA. It will lower the outlook for 2012 to 2 percent from 2.7 percent, ANSA added, citing a draft of the IMF's World Economic Outlook to be issued on September 20.
In Europe, markets seemed unfazed by a note from S&P which suggested high unemployment and the recent decline in stock markets posed a risk to spending and increased the chance of a double dip recession. S&P said downside risks were “significant" adding it would "closely monitor" trends in consumer demand in the coming quarters.
Coming Up This Week:
TUESDAY: Consumer confidence, Fed's Kocherlakota speaks, FOMC minutes
WEDNESDAY: Weekly mortgage apps, Challenger job-cut report, ADP employment report, Chicago PMI, factory orders, oil inventories, USDA's agricultural trade outlook
THURSDAY: Weekly jobless claims, productivity and costs, ISM Mfg index, construction spending, chain store sales, auto sales
FRIDAY: Non-farm payroll