Wall Street stock index futures point to gains

By @ibtimes on

Stock index futures pointed to a higher open for Wall Street on Tuesday, in a modest rebound from falls in the previous session.

The Nasdaq <.IXIC> fell 1.6 percent on Monday as investors sold recent gainers on the back of growing unease with parts of U.S. economic weakness.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> and the S&P 500 <.SPX> were off 0.4 and 0.6 percent, with a disappointing reading of manufacturing in New York state adding to the uncertain outlook for the economy.

Housing starts data is scheduled for release at 8:30 a.m. EDT, with economists predicting a rise to around 568,000 in April compared to 549,000 a month earlier.

Other data set for release includes April's industrial output figures at 9:15 a.m. EDT.

Earnings results will also be in focus, with Wal-Mart expected to post a rise in profit to 95 cents from 87 cents a share this time last year, with the retailer's top priority firmly on turning around nearly two years of declining sales at U.S. stores open at least a year.

Home Depot is seen posting a rise in earnings per share to 49 cents from 45 cents a year ago, although investors will be wary after rival Lowe reported weaker-than-expected quarterly results a day earlier.

Dell also reports earning, along with rival Hewlett Packard , which is set to bring forward its earnings release after reports its CEO had warned of a tough July quarter.

In company news, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is investigating big banks like Bank of America Corp , Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs related to packaging of toxic mortgage loans into securities, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources.

BP's move to gain a foothold in Russia's offshore Arctic oilfields through a deal with state-controlled Rosneft has collapsed after it failed to resolve a dispute with partners in TNK-BP .

Mining equipment maker Joy Global is to buy Rowan Cos Inc's drilling and mining gear unit for $1.1 billion in cash, as it looks to offset stiff competition in its main market by entering the lucrative oil and gas drilling business.

On the economic front, The United States reached the legal limits of its borrowing authority on Monday as a top Republican increased his party's demand for deep spending cuts as part of any increase.

In a sign of caution ahead for Japanese growth, the Bank of Japan's Governor said the country's economy was in a very severe state due to damage from the March earthquake, signaling that the central bank was sticking to its loose monetary policy stance.

European shares on the FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> were slightly lower in early trade, on track to fall for the fourth straight session.

(Reporting by Harpreet Bhal; Editing by Hans Peters)

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