RTTNews - After an essentially flat outing to kick off the week, stocks are likely to open moderately higher on Tuesday amid news that President Barack Obama will re-appoint Ben Bernanke to the post of Federal Reserve Chairman for a second term. The major index futures are all in positive territory, with the Dow futures up by 49 points.
Citing White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, reports said that Obama is expected to make the nomination today from Martha's Vineyard. Obama credits Bernanke with pulling the economy back from the brink of depression, Emanuel said.
The Fed Chairman's term was set to expire at the end of January, and his reappointment will require Senate confirmation.
A slew of economic data will also be on the radar, with the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index for June due out at 9:00 a.m. ET. Economists expect a 16.4 percent year-over-year decline in the house price index for June compared to a 17.1 percent rate of decline in May.
Traders will also look to the Conference Board's report on consumer confidence for August scheduled to be released at 10:00 a.m. ET. The consumer confidence index is expected to come in at 47.9 for August compared to 46.6 recorded in July.
The markets may also focus on budget estimates and briefings on the economy from the U.S Congressional Budget Office and the White House.
On the earnings front, Burger King Holdings (BKC) reported fourth-quarter net income of $0.43 per share, compared to $0.37 per share in the same quarter last year. Wall Street analysts expected the company to report earnings of $0.33 per share.
Burger King said total revenues for the fourth quarter fell 2 percent to $629.9 million from $645.7 million in same quarter last year. Twelve analysts had a consensus revenue estimate of $632.40 million for the quarter.
Specialty retailer Chico's FAS Inc. (CHS) announced that its adjusted second-quarter net income rose to $0.10 per share from $0.04 per share in the comparable period last year. Analysts expected the company to report earnings of $0.10 per share for the quarter.
Chico's said its net sales for the quarter rose to $419.9 million from $405.2 million in the year ago quarter. Thirteen analysts had a consensus revenue estimate of $416.70 million for the quarter.
After seeing some early strength, stocks moved back to the downside over the course of the trading session on Monday, ending the day nearly unchanged. While the Dow closed up by 3.32 points at 9,509, the Nasdaq slipped by 3 points to 2,018 and the S&P 500 fell by 1 point to 1,026.
Crude oil futures have drifted lower in early commodities trading, slipping by $0.13 to $74.24 a barrel after moving modestly higher in the previous session. Meanwhile, the price of gold is moving higher, advancing by $6.40 to $948.80 an ounce.
On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is mixed versus the major European currencies, falling to $1.4324 versus the euro, while it is little changed versus the pound, sitting at $1.6392. Meanwhile, the dollar has advanced against the yen, rising to 94.32 yen.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region closed mostly lower on Tuesday. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 Index slid by 0.8 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell by 0.5 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets are on the rise, with the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index both rising by 0.2 percent, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.1 percent.
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