U.S. stock futures were pointing higher Tuesday as earnings reports poured in and investors awaited more data on the health of the economy.
Three Dow components, McDonald's (MCD), United Technologies (UTX) and Travelers (TRV), reported results this morning. McDonald's missed on the top and bottom lines, United Tech beat earnings forecasts by a nickel per share, and Travelers arrived a penny ahead of EPS estimates.
Last night Netflix (NFLX) beat Wall Street expectations, and shares were higher in premarket trading.
On the economic docket, at 9 a.m. ET, the Federal Housing Finance Agency's Housing Price Index for February is expected to pull back to 0.03% from 0.5% in January. Analysts see existing-home sales receding to 4.56 million in March from 4.6 million the previous month. That report comes out at 10 a.m. At the same time, the Richmond Federal Reserve is set to release its manufacturing index.
Overseas, Asian markets were lower and European markets were boosted by a blockbuster deal among big pharma names. The U.K.'s GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Switzerland's Novartis (NVS) and Eli Lilly (LLY) made a multi-billion-dollar swap that refocused their businesses. As a result, Novartis will concentrate on cancer drugs and Glaxo on vaccines, and Lilly will take a greater hand in veterinary medicine.
Meanwhile, shares of Allergan (AGN) soared in the premarket on news that Canada's Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX) made a bid for the Botox maker. Hedge fund Pershing Square, managed by Bill Ackman, has a 9.7% stake in Allergan and supports the deal.