U.S. stocks were poised for a higher open on Tuesday after Goldman Sachs and Johnson & Johnson reported solid earnings.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc
It is kind of nice to see a couple of big headline companies come in with positive surprises after a string of headline companies delivering negative surprises over the last week, said Fred Dickson, chief market strategist at D.A. Davidson & Co. in Lake Oswego, Oregon.
Investors really are going to be focusing on earnings and trying to get a read on guidance -- guidance is going to be the name of the game right now.
S&P 500 futures added 3 points and were slightly 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 34 points and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 3 points.
Wall Street fell more than 1 percent on Monday as sovereign debt fears on both sides of the Atlantic and China's monetary tightening hurt the outlook for global economic growth.
The benchmark S&P 500 index managed to hold above the psychologically important 1,300 level but fell through its 50-day moving average, a level investors will watch for signs of further weakness.
Given the jolt the market took yesterday, a refocus on market fundamentals could be a welcome distraction, said Andre Bakhos, director of market analytics at Lek Securities in New York.
Right now, we have to look for some stability above 1,300 and from that point we have to re-establish the primary near term trend.
Companies also scheduled to report quarterly results on Tuesday include Intel Corp
Seagate Technology Plc
Seagate posted a third-quarter profit below market expectations on lower hard-drive shipments.
The Commerce Department said housing starts rose 7.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 549,000 units in March, higher than expected. February's starts were revised up to a 512,000-unit pace from the previously reported rate of 479,000 units.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast housing starts rising to 520,000 last month.
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Kenneth Barry)