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U.S. stock-index futures tilted higher on Tuesday as traders responded to mildly better-than-expected data on U.S. trade.

Today's Markets

As of 8:35 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures 18 points to 15235, S&P 500 futures rose 3.8 points to 1640 and Nasdaq 100 futures advanced 9 points to 2995.

Wall Street kicked off the month on a high note Monday, with the markets rallying on hopes a patch of weak manufacturing data will keep the Federal Reserve from trimming down its bond-buying program for the moment. 

The focus was expected to stay on the U.S. economy for the rest of the week. 

The Commerce Department said the U.S. trade deficit increased to $40.3 billion in April from a downwardly-revised $37.1 billion in March. Economists were expecting the deficit to increase to $41 billion. Exports for the month climbed 1.2%, while imports jumped 2.4%. While the report is a lagging indicator, it figures directly into second-quarter gross domestic product. The bigger the deficit, the more it detracts from GDP. 

On Wednesday, traders will get the first glimpse at how many jobs the private sector added in May from payroll processor ADP. Then, on Friday, the Labor Department releases the all-important monthly jobs report. The economy is expected to have tacked on 170,000 jobs for the month, leaving the unemployment rate steady at 7.5%. 

In corporate news, Salesforce.com (CRM) said it is buying ExactTarget (ET) in a deal valued at $2.5 billion. General Motors (GM) will replace H.J. Heinz (HNZ) on the S&P 500 and S&P 100 indices. American International Group (AIG) will take Baker Hughes' (BHI) place on the S&P 100 index. The oilfield servicing company will hold its spot on the S&P 500. 

Oil prices were in the red. The benchmark U.S. crude oil contract fell 54 cents, or 0.58%, to $92.92 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline rose 0.29% to $2.794 a gallon. Gold slumped $14.20, or 1%, to $1,398 a troy ounce. 

Foreign Markets

The Euro Stoxx 50 climbed 0.48% to 2761, the English FTSE 100 gained 0.66% to 6568 and the German DAX edged up 0.33% to 8313. 

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 surged 2.1% to 13534 and the Chinese Hang Seng inched higher by 0.01% to 22286.

Follow Adam Samson on Twitter @adamsamson.