Futures Rise Amid Corporate News Flurry


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U.S. stock-index futures climbed as traders parsed through a deluge of corporate news and a report on the housing market.

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Today's Markets

As of 9:06 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures climbed 37 points to 15520, S&P 500 futures rose 4.5 points to 1687 and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 12 points to 3078.

Corporate reporting season was in full swing Tuesday, with two Dow components posting quarterly earnings. Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), the biggest U.S. drugmaker, revealed better-than-expected quarterly profits, and sales that were in-line with estimates. Merck (NYSE:PFE) unveiled a stronger-than-expected EPS, but light sales.

Meanwhile, Community Health Systems (NYSE:CYH) said it will scoop up smaller rival Health Management Associates (NYSE:HMA) for $3.9 billion to strengthen its base amid tumult in the health-care industry.

UBS (NYSE:UBS) will buy back a fund of what used to be toxic assets it jettisoned to the Swiss central bank during the financial crisis in 2008. Barclays (NYSE:BCS) plans on raising $8.9 billion from shareholders as it looks to bolster its regulatory capital. The U.S. energy market regulator accused J.P. Morgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) late Monday of manipulating power markets. A J.P. Morgan spokesperson declined to comment on the matter.

On the economic front, home prices in 20 major U.S. metropolitan markets climbed 2.4% in May on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller report. Economists expected a slightly slimmer gain of 2.3%. Prices were up 12.2% from the year prior, the biggest jump since March 2006.The gauge is a lagging indicator, but it's closely watched by Wall Street.

Another report due out at 10:00 a.m. ET from the Conference Board may show U.S. consumer confidence having held steady in July from June.

Elsewhere, U.S. oil futures sold off by $1.05, or 1%, to $103.50 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline dipped 0.2% to $3.006 a gallon. In metals, gold slumped $5.80, or 0.42%, to $1,324 a troy ounce.

Foreign Markets

The Euro Stoxx 50 rose 0.69% to 2761, the English FTSE 100 gained 0.21% to 6574 and the German DAX advanced 0.39% to 8291.

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 rallied 1.5% to 13870 and the Chinese Hang Seng edged up 0.48% to 21954.

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