US stocks were set to end a positive month on high note Tuesday morning in New York as investors looked to trickle back in to the markets following big losses in the previous session.
As of 6 am ET, the Dow Futures were up 60 points, the NASDAQ Futures were up 8 points, and the S&P Futures were up 7 points.
Stocks hit the skids on Monday, paring some of this month's significant gains as market players took profits amid news of the Obama administration's rejection of the turnaround plans at GM and Chrysler. The Dow eventually ended the session down more than 250 points.
Much of the selling pressure came as President Obama and his auto task force indicated that General Motors (GM) and Chrysler have not gone far enough in their restructuring plans and need to step up their efforts to reorganize in order to receive additional government aid.
After forcing out GM CEO Rick Wagoner, Obama gave GM and Chrysler a final deadline, threatening bankruptcy if the beleaguered auto giants do not significantly increase their efforts to restructure their business.
GM said it would take whatever steps necessary to successfully restructure the company in a more accelerated and aggressive manner, which could include a court-supervised process.
Obama will be leaving for for the G20 meeting in London later today, but hopes that the countries will agree to a coordinated fiscal boost appear to have been crushed by skepticism in many European governments.
The economic calendar picks up on the final trading day of the month of March, with trading on Tuesday likely to be impacted by the release of reports on housing prices, consumer confidence, and activity in the Chicago-area manufacturing sector.
Additionally, Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Gary Stern and Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Plosser are scheduled to speak at separate events.
In corporate news, homebuilder Lennar Corporation (LEN: News ) reported a wider net loss for the first quarter, hurt by lower home deliveries combined with a fall in average sale price due to low consumer confidence, increased unemployment and growing foreclosures.
Net loss for the first quarter ended February 28, 2009 widened to $155.9 million from $88.2 million in the corresponding period last year. The loss per share widened to $0.98 from $0.56 per share in the same period last year.
Software giant Microsoft Corp. (MSFT: News ) announced that it is discontinuing its MSN Encarta encyclopedia Web sites and will stop to sell Microsoft Student and Encarta Premium software products, which reportedly is decided due to pressures from lack of sales amid strong growth of Wikipedia and other free sites in the online reference market.
U.K.-based financial services company Barclays plc (BCS) said that it has decided not to participate in the U.K. government's Asset Protection Scheme, a scheme designed to insure the so-called toxic assets of banks, following discussions with major shareholders. The company also said that talks regarding the potential sale of its iShares business with several interested parties were progressing well.
Asian stocks were mixed Tuesday, with Tokyo's Nikkei losing about 1.5 percent. However, the Hang Seng of Hong Kong added 0.9 percent.
In European intraday dealing, the FTSE of the UK was up 2.4 percent, the DAX of Germany was up 1 percent, and the CAC of France was up 1.5 percent.
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