Global stocks were higher on Tuesday morning, as they rebound slightly from Monday's sharp Europe-inspired selloff.
U.S. index futures were higher with about 90 minutes before markets open, suggesting that stocks will rise at the start of trading. Futures for the Dow Jones industrial average were up 33 points or 0.3 per cent, after falling more than 100 points on Monday. Futures for the broader S&P 500 were up 5 points or 0.4 per cent.
The gains follow modest bounces in Europe, where Monday's losses were particularly steep with political uncertainty in the Netherlands and France raising questions about Europe's determination to deal with the sovereign-debt crisis by slashing government spending. Successful Spanish and Italian government bond auctions on Tuesday helped ease some concerns. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 rose 0.4 per cent and Germany's DAX index rose 0.7 per cent in afternoon trading.
In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.8 per cent in overnight trading.
The moves come as the U.S. Federal Reserve begins a two-day meeting, which culminates with the release of its monetary policy statement on Wednesday. With recent economic reports showing a weakening trend, many observers will be looking for hints from the Fed about whether it will respond with a policy shift.
Meanwhile, the S&P/Case Shiller home price index will be released at 9 a.m. (ET), shedding light on U.S. home prices in February. That will be followed at 10 a.m. by a report on new home sales in February and a consumer confidence reading for April.
However, investors are going to have to wait some time for the day's biggest earnings report. Apple Inc. is set to report its latest quarterly results after markets close on Tuesday. The shares have been weak in recent trading, falling more than 10 per cent from their recent peak, raising questions about whether the company's earnings growth might stumble.
Netflix Inc. fell 14.8 per cent in premarket activity after the former high-flyer reported its quarterly results on Monday after markets closed, warning of weaker-than-expected subscriber additions.
Eyes are also going to be on Facebook Inc. after it reported mixed quarterly results on Tuesday. As the company approaches an expected initial public offering in May, higher expenses seem to be dragging on results. The social media behemoth reported sales of $1.06-billion (U.S.) in the last quarter, up 45 per cent over last year but down 6 per cent over the fourth quarter. Earnings fell 32 per cent over the last quarter, to $205-million. However, if new eyeballs is what this business is about, then it has plenty of them: Facebook's so-called user base grew 33 per cent over last year, to 901 million.
In Canada, Teck Resources Ltd. reported a quarterly profit of $218-million, or 86 cents a share after adjusting for certain items -- just shy of analysts' expectations.