US Stock Futures Signal Slightly Higher Open As Investors Remain Watchful

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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, September 12, 2011.

The U.S. stock index futures point to a slightly higher open Tuesday as investors follow a waiting strategy anticipating that the Federal Reserve will soon announce stimulus measures to rejuvenate the economic growth.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.04 percent, futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 index were up 0.02 percent and those on the Nasdaq 100 index were up 0.13 percent.

Investors are expected to focus on the consumer confidence index to be reported by the Conference Board Tuesday. That index, an indicator of consumer spending that plays a major role in overall economic activity, is expected to rise to 66 in August, up from 65.9 in July.

The S&P/Case-Shiller House Price Index, which measures the change in the selling price of single-family homes in 20 metropolitan areas, will be reported by S&P Tuesday. It is expected to report a decline of 0.1 percent in June compared to the same month last year.

On Monday, the U.S. markets were mixed as investors remained cautious waiting for the Federal Reserve to announce monetary easing measures to revive the economic growth momentum. Investors are likely to remain watchful ahead of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's speech at the Jackson Hole symposium in Wyoming Friday. Market players are hoping for an announcement of the monetary stimulus policy by the U.S. Fed in the face of intensifying pressures on the economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.25percent, the S&P 500 Index was down 0.05 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.11 percent.

Major European indices were in red as investors remained cautious waiting for the euro zone policymakers to come up with some stimulus measures to rejuvenate the faltering economy. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi will address at the Jackson Hole Symposium Saturday. London's FTSE 100 was down 2.51 points, Germany's DAX 30 Index fell 42.09 points and France's CAC 40 declined 14.53 points.

Most of the Asian stocks fell as investors' concerns about the weakening global economic condition were revived as Japan's government lowered its assessment of the country's economy. Investors feel that the Bank of Japan would need to urgently expand its asset purchase program (APP) with Japan's economy having lost its growth momentum.

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