Stock Futures Wobble; Factory Data on Tap

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U.S. stock-index futures drifted between gains and losses on Tuesday as traders waited for reports on vehicle sales and factory orders.

Today's Markets

As of 7:45 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 2 points to 12778, S&P 500 futures climbed 1 point to 1359 and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 3.8 points to 2618.

After a report released on Monday showed the U.S. manufacturing sector contracted for the first time since July 2009, the increasingly frail global economy has taken the spotlight. The markets are set to get a report on factory orders from the Commerce Department at 10:00 a.m. ET. Economists expect the gauge to have risen by 0.2% in May from April.

Vehicle manufacturers such as General Motors (NYSE:GM), Ford (NYSE:F) and Chrysler are also set to report their monthly sales on the day. Expectations are for a strong month, with June sales hitting the highest level since 2007.

Volume may be light on the day, with trading on the New York Stock Exchange closing at 1:00 p.m. ET.

In corporate news, Barclays (NYSE:BCS) Chief Executive Officer Bob Diamond resigned as the bank continues feeling tremors from the interest-rate rigging scandal.

Oil prices rallied on the back of saber rattling by Iran. The country, which has been facing stiff sanctions from the U.S. and European Union, has once again began talking about potentially trying to cut the critical Straight of Hormuz off to tankers that have the flag of the countries that are sanctioning it, according to multiples news reports.

The benchmark contract traded in New York jumped $2.09, or 2.5%, to $85.87 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline jumped 1.9% to $2.672 a gallon.

In metals, gold climbed $14.60, or 0.91%, to $1,612 a troy ounce.

Foreign Markets

The Euro Stoxx 50 rose 0.64% to 2307, the English FTSE 100 gained 0.38% to 6662 and the German DAX climbed 0.71% to 6542.

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 jumped 0.7% to 9067 and the Chinese Hang Seng rallied 1.5% to 19736.