U.S. stock index futures point to a mixed opening Tuesday amid hopes that the Federal Reserve will announce stimulus measures to tackle the faltering economy and revive growth.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down 0.02 percent and futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 index were down 0.03 percent, but futures on the Nasdaq 100 index were up 0.09 percent.
Market players are hoping that the U.S. Fed will soon announce monetary stimulus policy in the face of intensifying pressures on the economy. Last month, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke underlined that the Fed remained prepared to take action as needed to protect the U.S. financial system in the event financial stresses escalate.
Investors are likely to focus on the Commerce Department's factory orders report, which will be released later Tuesday. The report, which measures the change in the total value of new purchase orders placed with manufacturers each month, is expected to rise 0.2 percent in May, up from 0.6 percent decrease in April. The report will also include a revision of the durable goods orders data released about a week earlier, as well as new data on non-durable goods orders.
Also, major automakers will report Tuesday the U.S. sales for June. Total vehicle sales, measuring the change in the number of new vehicles sold domestically in the reported month, are an important indicator of consumer spending and are expected to post 13.9 million units in June, up from 13.73 million in May.
The U.S. markets were mixed Monday as investor sentiment was affected after a report indicated that the manufacturing activity shrank in June. The Institute of Supply Management's Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index declined to 49.7 in June down from 53.5 in May. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 0.07 percent, the S&P 500 Index was up 0.25 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.55 percent.
Major European indices were in green amid expectation that central banks would announce stimulus measures to revive the global economic growth. London's FTSE 100 rose 16.24 points, Germany's DAX 30 Index was up 23.95 points and France's CAC 40 advanced by 12.06 points.
Asian markets also rose Tuesday following global cues with market players encouraged by hopes for further monetary easing policy steps from central banks.