U.S. futures are climbing sharply Tuesday morning, as the major indices look to start March off on the right foot after closing a leap day extended February down across the board.
The move up comes as world markets also climb in trading Tuesday. In Asia, the Nikkei closed 0.4% higher, while the Shanghai Composite and Hang Seng indices rose 1.7% and 1.6% respectively.
In Europe, the DAX was up 1.7%, while the FTSE 100 rose 0.8% and the CAC 40 climbed 0.7% with about three hours left in trading.
The climb comes as oil prices continue to rally, giving off signals, even if some would say slightly premature, that the commodity has finally bottomed out. West Texas crude contracts for April delivery are up $0.56 to $34.31 per barrel while international benchmark Brent crude contracts for May delivery are up $0.31 to $36.88 per barrel.
With over 75% of companies on the S&P 500 already having reported, analysts estimate that earnings fell 4.2% in the fourth quarter, vs. earlier predictions of a 7% decline, according to Bloomberg.
The Institute of Supply Management manufacturing data for February is scheduled to be released at 10 A.M. EST on Tuesday. The ISM manufacturing index is expected to be at 48.8. While that would be up from 48.2 in January, any number below 50 shows contraction.
Industry watcher TrueCar Inc. estimates that new vehicle sales in February rose 8.6% year over year to $44 billion, marking the 26th consecutive month of year-over-year revenue expansion. TrueCar said that higher average transaction prices were responsible for the gain despite an 11% increase in incentive spending. TrueCar projected that average transaction prices for new vehicles will reach $33,925 in 2016, a 4.2% rise from a year ago.
In U.S. securities news, Dollar Tree (DLTR) shares were down 5.5% premarket after missing analysts' bottom line estimates of $1.01 per share by $0.06.
Auto parts retailer AutoZone (AZO) was climbing premarket after topping analysts' earnings expectations by $0.14 per share. The company reported that second quarter comps rose 3.6% year over year.
Crocs (CROX) shares were down 3% premarket after the company missed bottom line estimates by $0.71 while also guiding its current quarter revenue expectations below consensus.
Shares of Marriot (MAR) and Starwood Hotels (HOT) will be on the move today, after the companies announced that the waiting periods in the U.S. and Canada have passed without any regulatory injunctions against their proposed merger. Marriott said that it will complete its purchase of Starwood by the middle of the year.
Finally, Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) will also be under watch today after the company confirmed that it was under investigation by the SEC over its former relationship with a drug distributor.
The stock tanked over 18% on Monday, but is climbing in premarket trading on Tuesday. Jim Cramer writes that accounting irregularities always equal sell in his early morning article.