RTTNews - Following a lackluster performance to kick off the week, stocks may move modestly higher in early trading on Tuesday. The major index futures are holding just above the unchanged line, with the Dow futures up by 10 points.
With a relatively light day on tap, traders may pay a bit more attention to wholesale inventories figures for April set to be released by the Commerce Department. Economists expect inventories to decline 1.1 percent. The report will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
Investors are also waiting on an announcement from the Treasury Department regarding which financial institutions will be allowed to repay the funds they borrowed under the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. Reports have said the Treasury could name as many as 10 banks.
Trading could also be impacted by comments from Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who is scheduled to testify before the Senate Appropriations Committee regarding his department's budget. IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman is also set to appear before the committee.
In corporate news, bankrupt automaker Chrysler's planned asset sale to a group led by Italian automaker Fiat was thrown into uncertainty after a U.S. Supreme Court Justice issued a stay on the sale. The stay was sought by a group of Indiana pension funds.
Additionally, shares of Texas Instruments (TXN) are likely to see some strength in early trading after the chipmaker raised its revenue and earnings guidance for the second quarter.
In its scheduled mid-quarter update, the world's second largest maker of mobile phone chips said it now expects second quarter revenue to be in the range of $2.30 billion to $2.50 billion, compared to its prior guidance of $1.95 billion to $2.40 billion.
Elsewhere, according to the Financial Times, BlackRock (BLK) is nearing a $12 to $13 billion cash and stock deal for Barclays Global Investors, a unit of British bank Barclays (BCS).
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reported that consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble (PG) is expected to name its Chief Operating Officer Robert McDonald as the new Chief Executive Officer, effective July 1, 2009.
Stocks finished Monday's session little changed, as some traders went bargain hunting in the afternoon following a morning sell-off. The major averages finished on opposite sides of the unchanged line but only by minuscule margins. While the Dow finished up by 1 at 8,764, the Nasdaq dipped by 7 to 1842, and the S&P 500 fell 1 to 939.
In early commodities trading, crude oil futures are rising, moving up by $1.20 to $69.29 a barrel, while gold futures are also climbing, advancing by $5.30 to $957.80 an ounce.
On the currency front, the U.S. dollar has moved modestly lower against the major European currencies. The buck has dipped to $1.3964 against the euro and slid to $1.6192 against the pound. The dollar is also retreating versus the yen, moving to 97.99 yen.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region finished Tuesday's session moderately lower. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 Index fell by 0.8 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed down by 1.1 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets are inching higher. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.2 percent, while the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index are rising by 0.3 percent and 0.1 percent, respectively.
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