Stock Futures Wobble; Traders Eye Auto Sales


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U.S. stock-index futures hovered in a tight range Tuesday as traders digested auto sales figures and braced for another round of speeches from Fed officials.

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Today's Markets

As of 8:41 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 1 point to 14883, S&P 500 futures climbed 0.75 points to 1607 and Nasdaq 100 futures advanced 5 points to 2922.

The third quarter got off to a rather strong start Monday, with stocks posting modest gains on the back of upbeat data on U.S. manufacturing. The focus was expected to shift somewhat on the day, with the major automakers revealing their monthly sales figures.

Chrysler said its sales jumped 8% in June from the same month in 2012 to 144,811, coming close to estimates, and marking the highest June sales since 2007. Among the other companies slated to report are General Motors (NYSE:GM) and Ford (NYSE:F).

In total, sales are expected to have climbed by between 6% to 8% in June on a month-to-month basis, according to the Associated Press.

On the economic front, the Commerce Department releases its gauge of factory orders at 10:00 a.m. ET. The measure is expected to have climbed 2% in May from April.

New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley is set to speak on economic conditions in Stamford, Conn. at 12:30 p.m. ET.

Elsewhere in corporate news, Capital One Financial (NYSE:COF) unveiled a $1 billion stock buy-back plan. Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) said Don Mattrick, who was in charge of Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Xbox development, will take over as chief executive.

Gold prices advanced for the third day in a row. The benchmark contract rose $1.10, or 0.09%, to $1,257 a troy ounce. Oil gained 35 cents, or 0.35%, to $98.33 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline rose 0.83% to $2.761 a gallon.

Foreign Markets

The Euro Stoxx 50 dipped 0.74% to 2603, the English FTSE 100 fell 0.39% to 6283 and the German DAX sold off by 1.1% to 7897.

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 rallied 1.8% to 14099 and the Chinese Hang Seng slid 0.7% to 20659.

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