U.S. stock index futures rose on Tuesday as investors awaited comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who may offer clues into steps the central bank could take to stimulate the economy.
* Mr. Bernanke is testifying before the U.S. Senate Banking Committee at 10:00 a.m. (1400 GMT), and while recent indications have suggested the Fed won’t announce another round of quantitative easing unless economic conditions deteriorate further, the comments will still be closely monitored.
* The market is coming off a period of weakness, with Monday’s retail sales data the latest sign of slowing growth. Markets are down seven of the past eight sessions.
* In another sign of weakness, Morgan Stanley cut its 2012 U.S. auto sales projections by about 3 per cent and cut its profit outlooks for the sector due to weak sales.
* Corporate earnings will also be a focus for investors. So far earnings have been solid, with major names like JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc rallying following results.
* Coca-Cola Co reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday, helped by increased sales volume both at home and abroad. The world’s largest soft drink maker said net income was $2.79-billion (U.S.) in the second quarter, down from $2.80-billion a year earlier. Net earnings per share rose to $1.21 from $1.20 because of fewer shares outstanding. Excluding items, earnings were $1.22 per share, topping the analysts’ average estimate of $1.19, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
* Goldman Sachs said its net income fell 11 per cent in the April-to-June period after the investment bank’s clients traded less and made fewer deals as global financial markets turned volatile. The New York bank said its net income available to common shareholders fell to $962-million, or $1.78 per share, for the quarter. That compares with $1.09-billion, or $1.85 per share, a year ago. That’s far more than the $1.17 per share that analysts were expecting.
* Johnson & Johnson said its second-quarter net income fell by half due to lower sales and charges for litigation and other items. The New Brunswick, N.J., maker of Band-Aids and prescription drugs also lowered its 2012 profit forecast. Net income was $1.41-billion, or 50 cents per share, down from $2.78-billion, or $1 per share, a year earlier. Revenue fell by 0.7 per cent to $16.48-billion. Excluding one-time items, net income was $3.63-billion, or $1.30 per share.
* S&P 500 futures rose 5.3 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures added 44 points and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 9.75 points.
* Shares of Yahoo Inc. rose 2.3 per cent to $16.01 in premarket trading after it naming Marissa Mayer, a now-former top executive at Google Inc., as its new chief executive. The company has cycled through three CEOs in a year.
* June consumer prices will be released at 8:30 and are forecast to have stayed unchanged, compared with a 0.3 per cent drop in May. Excluding volatile food and energy items, CPI is forecast to rise 0.2 per cent, a repeat of the May increase.
* U.S. stocks fell in a volatile session on Monday, with the weak retail sales fueling losses.
- With files from the Associated Press
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