US Stock Futures Signal Mixed Open Ahead Of Trade Balance Data, Corporate Earnings

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A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York

U.S. stock futures suggest a slow opening to markets on Tuesday, ahead of the release of the U.S. trade balance report and quarterly earnings statements from U.S. companies.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.03 percent, futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index were down 0.12 percent, and those on the Nasdaq 100 index were up 0.08 percent.

Investors are likely to focus on the trade balance report for the month of June, to be released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis at 8:30 a.m. EDT. Economists expect the trade deficit to narrow to $43 billion in June, after unexpectedly widening to $45 billion in May.

On the earnings front, a number of major companies, including Archer Daniels Midland Co. (NYSE:ADM), Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. (NASDAQ:CTSH), Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. (NYSE:KORS), Dish Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH), CVS Caremark Corp. (NYSE:CVS), Dominion Resources Inc. (NYSE:D), FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE:FE) and Fossil Group Inc. (NASDAQ:FOSL), are expected to report quarterly earnings before market hours. Companies that will announce quarterly earnings after market hours on Tuesday include The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE:DIS) and Marathon Oil Corp. (NYSE:MRO).

In Europe, Italy's gross domestic product, or GDP, for the second quarter fell less than expected by 0.2 percent after contracting by 0.6 percent in the first three months. GDP fell 2 percent on an annual basis, according to ISTAT, the country's national statistics bureau. A Reuters survey had projected a second quarter fall of 0.4 percent and a fall of 2.2 percent in the annual figure.

In Germany, factory orders rose the most in eight months in June, according to official data released Tuesday. Orders, adjusted for seasonal factors and inflation, rose 3.8 percent from May, when it had fallen by 0.5 percent. A Bloomberg survey had forecast orders to have gained by 1 percent.

Following the release of the data, markets were mostly trading marginally higher on Tuesday. The Stoxx Europe 600 index was trading up 0.15 percent, London’s FTSE 100 was down 0.08 percent, Germany’s DAX-30 was up 0.20 percent, while France's CAC-40 was trading up 0.13 percent. 

In Asia, most markets traded lower on Tuesday as shares of HSBC Holdings, which declined by more than 5 percent in intraday trade, following a disappointing quarterly earnings report, dragged down Hong Kong markets while a volatile yen led to choppy trading in Japan’s markets.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index lost 1.34 percent and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 ended down 0.11 percent ahead of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s, or RBA, interest rate decision. RBA, at 3:30 p.m. local time, cut its key interest rate by 25 basis points to 2.50 percent, in line with analysts’ expectations.

China’s Shanghai Composite index ended up 0.49 percent and Japan’s Nikkei ended up 1 percent after declining up to 1.6 percent in intraday trade. South Korea’s KOSPI Composite index lost 0.50 percent and India’s BSE Sensex ended down 2.34 percent.

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