North American stock futures are up ahead of the opening bell on Tuesday, after the latest data showed the euro zone narrowly avoiding recession last quarter.
In New York, Dow Jones industrial average futures were up 0.4 per cent and S&P 500 futures rose 0.5 per cent. In Toronto, S&P/TSX 60 futures were also ahead 0.5 per cent, two hours ahead of the market open.
Overseas, European markets were holding steady, with most showing fractional gains. China’s Hang Seng advanced nearly one per cent and the Nikkei 225 in Japan slipped 0.8 per cent.
German GDP rebounded in the first three months of the year, rising 0.5 per cent, above forecasts of 0.2 per cent. The strength came from exports to emerging markets and was enough to keep the overall economy of the euro zone flat, even as economies of some other members contracted.
The expectation had been that the broad euro zone economy would actually shrink by 0.2 per cent in the first quarter, sending the region into recession following the 0.3 per cent contraction in the last quarter of 2011.
In North American economic news, the U.S. Labour Department said the consumer price index remained flat in April, with prices 2.3 per cent above what they were a year earlier. Food prices rose by 0.2 per cent, but oil and gasoline prices declined. The results signal that inflation remains under control and gives policy makers more room to work the recovery.
Latest data from the Commerce Department supported the trend, with U.S. retail sales rising in April at the slowest pace of the year - just 0.1 per cent after a 0.7 per cent rise in March. Meanwhile, manufacturing in the New York region increased by significantly more than expected last month, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Empire State Manufacturing Survey.
Gold prices have rebounded by 0.2 per cent to $1,559.38 (U.S.) an ounce after hitting a new low for the year on Monday. Oil slipped 21 cents to $94.57 a barrel.
Facebook Inc. raised its IPO price range to between $34 and $38 a share, up from the initial range of $28 to $35, citing heavy demand. The latest range translates into a valuation of between $93-billion and $104-billion.
Among companies reporting first-quarter results today, Home Depot Inc. said profit rose 28 per cent on a 6 per cent gain in sales, but the results fell short of expectations, putting pressure on the shares in pre-market trading. JC Penney Co. releases results after the close.
In Canada, reporting companies include Allied Properties Real Estate Investment Trust, Boardwalk Real Estate Investment Trust, Semafo Inc. and Centerra Gold.