The U.S. stock index futures point to a higher open Tuesday as market sentiment was underpinned by expectations that policymakers around the world will announce stimulus measures to rejuvenate the economic growth momentum.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.22 percent, futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 index were up 0.15 percent and those on the Nasdaq 100 index were up 0.27 percent.
Market players are waiting for an announcement of the stimulus measures by the European Central Bank (ECB) as investors feel that bold measures, including easing in the monetary policy, will give the much-needed thrust to boost liquidity in the euro zone financial system. Investors will be focusing on the ECB meeting in Frankfurt Thursday.
Investors are likely to focus on the Institute of Supply Management's (ISM) Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), to be reported Wednesday. The ISM manufacturing index, which rates the relative level of business conditions including employment, production, new orders, prices, supplier deliveries and inventories, is expected to rise to 50 in August, up from 49.8 in July.
The U.S. markets were closed Monday for the Labor Day holiday. On Friday, the U.S. markets rose as hopes on stimulus measures to be announced by the Fed were revived. During his speech at the Jackson Hole Symposium Friday, U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke indicated that unconventional monetary policy worked and that the economy needed more of it. Investors took it as a positive sign that the Fed would announce another round of quantitative easing measures in September.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.69 percent, the S&P 500 Index was up 0.51 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.60 percent.
Major European indices fell Tuesday as investors continued to remain cautious waiting for the policymakers to announce stimulus measures to boost the euro zone economy and revive the growth momentum. London's FTSE 100 was down 18.07 points, Germany's DAX 30 Index fell 13.39 points and France's CAC 40 declined 10.48 points.
Asian markets fell Tuesday as investor confidence was weighed down amid increasing concerns about the weakening global economy and the lack of bold measures from policymakers to boost the economic growth.