Tuesday February 21st


Futures point to higher open on Wall Street; earnings in focus

U.S. stock index futures were poised for a higher open on Tuesday as traders digested a deluge of earnings reports on the first trading day of the week. On the earnings front, Home Depot, Medtronic, Wal-Mart and Macy's are among the companies that reported quarterly results before the bell. Extra Space Storage, First Solar and Verisk Analytics are among many other companies due to report after the market close. On the data front, Tuesday will see flash Markit services PMI (Purchasing Managers' Index) for February released at 9.45 a.m ET. In Europe, the pan-European Stoxx 600 index traded 0.33 percent higher. In Asia, the Shanghai Composite in China closed 0.41 percent higher, while the Nikkei in Japan closed 0.68 percent higher. In oil markets, U.S. crude futures rose for a second consecutive day on Tuesday with Reuters reporting data showing hedge funds are betting big across oil markets after OPEC production cuts. Brent crude traded at around $56.98 a barrel on Tuesday, up 1.41 percent, while U.S. crude was around $54.31 a barrel, up 1.7 percent. Gold fell on Tuesday as reinforced expectations of an increase to U.S. interest rates next month pushed the dollar higher, though political and economic uncertainty in Europe and the United States are likely to offer continued price support. Spot gold was down 0.63 percent at $1,230.21 an ounce but has still gained more than 6 percent since the start of the year. U.S. gold futures dipped 0.65 percent to 1,231.