Stocks were poised for a higher open on Tuesday as solid manufacturing data in Europe helped investors refocus attentions from the maelstrom in the Middle East to hopes that a global economic recovery was on track.
A survey showed euro zone manufacturing activity accelerated more than previously thought in January, indicating the sector was regaining momentum across most of the region and helped lift confidence in the recovery. The Institute for Supply Management's January manufacturing index in the United States was due at 10 a.m. EST.
There is a little bit of a shift back to the focus back on the U.S. economic data, and of course, the Chicago PMI, especially the new orders component was strong yesterday. So there is a little anticipation that this ISM number will be good, said Marc Pado, U.S. market strategist at Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. in San Francisco.
We've seen the European manufacturing -- the PMI number came in quite strong, so manufacturing, that area is doing well.
The Commerce Department will report on December construction spending at 10 a.m. EST. Economists look for the spending to be unchanged, compared with a 0.4 percent rise the prior month.
Investors appeared to shrug off the tumultuous events in Egypt, as more than 200,000 Egyptians poured into central Cairo in the biggest demonstration so far in an uprising against President Hosni Mubarak's authoritarian rule.
S&P 500 futures rose 7.6 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures gained 45 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 15 points.
United Parcel Service Inc gained 2.9 percent to $73.68 in premarket trading after the world's largest package delivery company's quarterly profit beat estimates and it forecast record-high earnings in 2011.
Dow component Pfizer Inc rose 1.5 percent to $18.50 after the drugmaker's income and revenue topped estimates. Pfizer also cut its sales forecast for 2012, the first full year that its Lipitor cholesterol drug faces competition from U.S. generics.
U.S. automakers were set to report January sales, which were expected to increase from a year ago but slip from December. The data was expected to reflect a gradual recovery for the industry after the recession and the worst sales performance in nearly three decades.
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)