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Stocks - U.S. Futures Higher, Helped by IBM; Dow Futures Up 159 Pts

·3-min read

By Peter Nurse - U.S. stocks are set to open higher Tuesday, with investors looking for more fiscal stimulus while solid IBM (NYSE:IBM) earnings improved confidence about the ongoing earnings season.

At 7:05 AM ET (1105 GMT),S&P 500 Futures traded 21 points, or 0.7%, higher, Nasdaq Futures up 76 points, or 0.7%. The Dow Futures contract rose 159 points, or 0.6%.

On Monday, the S&P 500 closed 0.8% higher, edging into positive territory for 2020. The Nasdaq Composite added 2.5% to hit a new record high, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average inched higher, boosted by increased hope that one or more vaccine cures for the Covid-19 virus will be readily available by the end of the year.

Earlier Tuesday, European Union leaders finally agreed on a 750 billion euro ($860 billion) coronavirus rescue fund, aimed at boosting the region’s economic recovery, after prolonged negotiations over four days.

This puts the focus back on the U.S. policymakers, with Congress set to debate a fresh coronavirus aid package this week, aiming to finalize legislation on help for households and business protections in the coming weeks.

There remain differences between the two parties over the size of the deal, as well as what is included within it, but the pressure is on with a number of measures introduced earlier to support the workforce due to finish at the end of this month.

The second-quarter earnings season continues Tuesday, with household names like Texas Instruments (NASDAQ:TXN) and Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) due to report.

The market is set to get a boost from IBM’s earnings, released late Monday, after the tech giant beat estimates for second-quarter profit, signaling demand for its cloud computing business.

Soft drinks giant Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) also reported Tuesday, with its earnings falling 33% in the second quarter. The company gave no guidance other than to say it expects the second quarter to be the worst of the year.

The U.S. economic data slate is quiet Tuesday, with the release of the Redbook the only significant factor. The main focus this week will be on the weekly initial jobless claims release, on Thursday, given the renewed economic shutdowns in California, Florida and Texas.

Oil prices gained Tuesday on general optimism, with Brent rising above $44 a barrel for the first time since March 6, when the oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia started.

The American Petroleum Institute’s weekly report on U.S. oil stockpiles is due later in the session.

At 7:05 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded 2.8% higher at $42.06 a barrel, while Brent rose 2.9% to $44.55.

Elsewhere, gold futures fell 0.5% to $1,826.95/oz, while EUR/USD traded at 1.1435, down 0.1%.

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