Futures Hold Gains After Industrial Production

U.S. stock index futures were higher Tuesday following a handful of better-than-expected earnings reports and as investors seemed to overlook a handful of disappointing economic news.

Goldman Sachs posted earnings that were better-than-expected, helped by aggressive cost-cutting, strong investment banking and trading revenues. In addition, the financial giant raised its dividend.

Coca-Cola earnings and revenue also topped forecasts, thanks to increased prices and volume.

And fellow Dow component Johnson & Johnson also reported earnings that beat expectations.

Tech giants IBM , Intel and Yahoo are slated to post earnings after-the-bell tonight.

Apple remained lower, extending its losses after slumping 8.8 percent over the past five-consecutive sessions. The recent decline marks the stock's biggest 5-day drop in more than three years. Apple is now down nearly 10 percent from its record intraday high of $644.00 on April 10.

On the economic front, housing starts tumbled an unexpected 5.8 percentto a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 654,000 units last month, according to the Commerce Department. Economists surveyed by Reuters had expected rates to remain little changed around 705,000 units. February's starts were revised down to a 694,000-unit pace from a previously reported 698,000 unit rate.

This comes after a disappointing homebuilder sentimentreport in the previous session.

Meanwhile, industrial production was flat for a second-consecutive month in March, according to the Federal Reserve, suggesting a slowdown in factory activity. Economists had expected a 0.3 percent increase.

First Solar announced it would slash about 30 percent of its workforce and close some manufacturing operations as part of its cost-cutting efforts. Solar companies have been struggling in the last year amid a decline in selling prices and a handful of companies have already declared bankruptcy.

European shares were sharply higher, despite a leap in Spanish bond yields after its auction of $3.18 billion 12- and 18-month Treasury bills. The auction met high demand with sales narrowly beating its $2-$3 billion target.

—Follow JeeYeon Park on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC

Coming Up This Week:

TUESDAY: Industrial production, Citigroup shareholders mtg, tax day; Earnings from IBM, Intel, Yahoo
WEDNESDAY: Weekly mortgage apps, oil inventories; Earnings from Abbott Labs, BlackRock, Bank of NY Mellon, Halliburton, Ebay, Qualcomm, Yum Brands
THURSDAY: Jobless claims, existing home sales, Philadelphia Fed survey, leading indicators; Earnings from BofA, DuPont, Morgan Stanley, Nokia, Travelers, Verizon, Microsoft, AMD, Capital One, SanDisk
FRIDAY: Earnings from GE, McDonald's, Schlumberger

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