U.S. stock index futures point to a higher open Tuesday ahead of the publication of the U.S. Commerce Department's factory orders report.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.17 percent, futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index were up 0.12 percent and those on the Nasdaq 100 Index were up 0.14 percent.
The Commerce Department's factory orders report will be released after the opening bell on Tuesday. The report, which measures the change in the total value of the new purchase orders placed with manufacturers each month, is expected to show that factory orders increased 2.1 percent in February after declining 2 percent in the prior month. The report will also include a revision of the durable goods orders data released about a week earlier, as well as the new data on non-durable goods orders.
Market participants opted for caution ahead of key economic events including central bank meetings in both Europe and Japan and the monthly U.S. payroll data scheduled to be released later this week. The Bank of Japan (BOJ) is widely expected to announce aggressive monetary easing measures this week at the first meeting to be chaired by the new governor Haruhiko Kuroda and his deputies to reflate the world’s third largest economy.
“The focus this week will be firmly on central bank meetings (ECB, BOJ, BOE) and nonfarm payrolls. While the outcome should be broadly market-friendly, including dovish central banks and another decent increase in nonfarm payrolls, a lot will depend on what the markets are pricing in already,” a note from Credit Agricole said.
U.S. stock markets ended lower Monday as weaker-than-expected U.S. manufacturing data sparked concerns over the country's economic recovery. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.04 percent, the S&P 500 Index was down 0.45 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index declined 0.87 percent.
Data released by the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) showed that factory activity in the world’s largest economy unexpectedly slowed in March. The manufacturing index declined to 51.3 in March from 54.2 in February and also widely missed Reuters' forecast for a reading of 54.2.
European stock markets were trading higher with Germany's DAX30 up 0.55 percent, France's CAC-40 gaining 0.42 percent and London's FTSE 100 advancing 0.55 percent.
Asian stock markets were mixed Tuesday as U.S. manufacturing data missed estimates, while a stronger yen weighed on Japanese shares. Japan’s Nikkei plunged 1.08 percent, led by declines from export companies’ shares amid a stronger yen. The yen strengthened against the dollar as investors speculated about whether or not the BOJ will be able to meet very high market expectations.
The Chinese Shanghai Composite declined 0.30 percent and South Korea’s KOSPI Composite declined 0.49 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.16 percent and India’s BSE Sensex advanced 0.68 percent.