After moving mostly lower in the previous session, stocks are likely to move back to the upside in early trading on Tuesday. Buying interest may be somewhat subdued, however, as traders continue to express some uncertainty about the outlook for the markets.
Shares of Bank of America (BAC) are moving higher in pre-market trading after seeing considerable weakness on Monday. The financial services giant may help to lead banking stocks higher after they turned in some of the worst performances in the previous session.
The upward momentum for Bank of America comes amid reports that the company raised $7.3 billion by selling 13.5 billion shares of China Construction Bank. The company reportedly sold the shares at 4.20 Hong Kong dollars per share, a 14 percent discount to their Monday close.
Similarly, shares of Ford (F) are likely to be in focus after the automaker announced a public offering of 300 million shares of its common stock. Based on Ford's closing price on Monday, the deal would generate net proceeds of about $1.82 billion.
Ford said that it would use the proceeds for general corporate purposes, including funding a portion of the payments it is required to make to the Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association (VEBA) retiree health care trust.
On the economic front, the Commerce Department released a report showing that the U.S. trade deficit for March came in wider than in the previous month, with the value of exports falling by more than the value of imports.
The report showed that the trade deficit widened to $27.6 billion in March from a revised $26.1 billion in February. Economists had expected the deficit to widen to $29.0 billion compared to the $26.0 billion originally reported for the previous month.
In other news, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke spoke Monday evening, saying that the Fed is encouraged by early signs of the ability of major banks to raise new capital in the aftermath of recently performed stress tests.
Speaking at the Atlanta Fed's Financial Innovation & Crises Conference in Jekyll Island, Georgia, Bernanke insisted that the stress test provided insight, saying the results were appropriately conservative.
Bernanke struck a hopeful tone throughout his speech, saying the stress tests should bolster Americans' confidence in the U.S. banking system.
After turning in a strong performance last week, stocks moved mostly lower during trading on Monday. The major averages all closed firmly in negative territory, although the tech-heavy Nasdaq posted a relatively modest loss.
While stocks initially moved sharply lower, the Nasdaq staged a recovery attempt not long after the open. The Nasdaq bounced back and forth across the unchanged line before closing modestly lower, while the Dow remained stuck firmly in the red before closing down more than 150 points.
Crude oil futures are rising $1.36 to 59.86 a barrel after edging down $0.13 to $58.50 a barrel in Monday's session. Gold futures, which fell $1.40 to $913.50 an ounce in the previous session, are currently up $9.10 at $922.60 an ounce.
On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 96.979 yen compared to the 97.4905 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Monday. Against the euro, the dollar is currently valued at $1.3683 compared to yesterday's 1.3582.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance on Tuesday. While Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 Index fell 1.6 percent on the day, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index edged up 0.4 percent.
The major European markets are also trading mixed, with the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index currently edging down 0.1 percent, while the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index are up 0.3 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively.
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