RTTNews - After a moderately strong outing in the previous session, stocks are indicating a slightly higher open Tuesday morning ahead of the day's influx of economic data. The major index futures are all above the unchanged line by slim margins, with Dow futures up by 13 points.
Shortly before the market opens, traders will be presented with the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index, which tracks monthly changes in the value of residential real estate in 20 metropolitan regions across the U.S. Economists expect the index to show an 18.63 percent decline in prices.
Further, the market will also focus on a report from the Institute for Supply Management - Chicago on business activity in the Chicago area. Analysts expect the June reading to come in at 39.0 compared to 34.9 in May. The data is set to be released at 9:45 a.m. ET.
Consumer confidence data from the Conference Board is also likely to influence the day's trading, with the index expected to inch up to 55.3 in June from 54.9 the previous month. The report is scheduled to be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
On the corporate front, Centocor Ortho Biotech, a unit of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), said Monday that a federal jury has awarded it $1.67 billion in a patent infringement suit against Abbott Laboratories (ABT) related to Centocor's anti-tumor necrosis factor, or anti-TNFs, class of arthritis treatments.
Chipmaker Broadcom Corp. (BRCM) announced that it raised its tender offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of common stock of Emulex Corp. (ELX) from $9.25 to $11.00 per share in cash, representing a total equity value of about $912 million. Emulex Corp. said that its Board of Directors would review the terms of the revised tender offer from Broadcom.
In earnings news, private education firm Apollo Group (APOL) reported third quarter net income of $1.26 per share, compared to $0.85 per share in the prior year quarter. The earnings beat Wall Street analyst forecasts of $1.12 per share.
Further, tax preparer H&R Block (HRB) reported net income for the fourth quarter of $2.09 per share, compared to $1.66 per share in the year-ago quarter. The results edged out analyst expectations of $2.05 per share.
H&R Block also said it expects fiscal 2010 earnings in the range of $1.60 to $1.80 per share. Analysts currently expect the company to earn $1.66 per share for the year.
Despite a choppy start on Monday, stocks were able to move firmly into positive territory in mid-morning trading, hovering near their highs for the remainder of the session. The Dow closed up 91 points at 8,529, the Nasdaq closed up 6 points at 1,844, and the S&P rose 8 points to 927.23.
Crude oil futures are inching higher in early commodities trading, climbing by $0.03 to $71.52 a barrel after ending the previous session up $2.33 at $71.49 a barrel. Meanwhile, the price of gold is also little changed drifting up by $0.10 to $940.08 an ounce.
On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is sliding against the major European currencies, falling to $1.4132 against the euro while dropping to $1.6595 against the pound. The dollar is also sliding against the yen, moving down to 96.0 yen.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region ended Tuesday's session on a mixed note. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed up by 1.8 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index slid 0.8 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets are seeing a lackluster outing, with the German DAX Index and French CAC 40 Index down by 0.1 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is also sliding, showing a decrease of 0.3 percent.
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