Stocks were set to rise at the open on Tuesday as data showed inflation continues to be under control and strong demand at European debt auctions eased concerns about euro zone fiscal problems.
The euro, a yardstick used lately by equity investors to gauge risk appetite, rose against the U.S. dollar, even after a survey showed German analyst and investor sentiment fell much more than expected, and European shares traded slightly higher.
The euro probably got a little bit oversold. You combine that with the fact that prices are low and that allows commodity prices to move higher, said Burt White, chief investment officer at LPL Financial in Boston.
Meanwhile, the latest economic data showed manufacturing in New York State continued to grow in June although employment fell sharply, while U.S. import prices posted their largest decline in nearly a year in May.
S&P 500 futures rose 7.3 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 gained 60 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 8.75 points.
The S&P 500 index, poised to rise at the open, faces hurdles ahead with the psychologically important 1,100 level and also near 1,108, its 200-day simple moving average.
Spain and Belgium sold government debt to healthy demand and Ireland issued bonds in auctions that soothed investors worried about the euro zone's debt crisis, even as the countries paid yields higher than a month ago.
BP Plc's New York-traded shares were flat in premarket trading. Its U.S. chief faces grilling in Congress that will include accusations it caused the worst oil spill in U.S. history with a calculated strategy to cut costs.
Fitch downgraded BP's credit rating to 'BBB' from 'AA', citing near-term payment risks stemming from the oil spill catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico.
The National Association of Home Builders issues its June housing market index at 10 a.m. (1400 GMT). A reading of 21 is expected, slightly lower than the previous month's 22.
Best Buy Co shares dropped 5.6 percent to $38.75 premarket after its quarterly profits missed estimates.
Hershey Co plans to cut 500 to 600 jobs, or up to 5 percent of its workforce, in a restructuring aimed at saving some $60 million to $80 million annually.
U.S. stocks ended little changed in a low-volume session Monday after the Greek downgrade curbed risk appetite.
(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)