U.S. futures were fairly even in premarket trading Tuesday with the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrials each up about 0.1%. Oil prices climbed about 1.1% to $44.94 a barrel, based on U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate, adding to crude's more than 4% rally since Thursday.
Shares of Navistar (NAV) were up about 28% before the opening bell following confirmation that German auto giant Volkswagen (VLKAY) has taken a 16.6% stake in the Illinois-based truck maker, in hopes of widening Volkswagen's footprint in U.S. markets.
Navistar noted in a Tuesday statement the deal will be valued at roughly $256 million, and Volkswagen will pay about $15.76 per share.
"Starting in the near term, this alliance will benefit our purchasing operations through global scope and scale," Navistar CEO Troy Clarke said. "Over the longer term, it is intended to expand the technology options we are able to offer our customers by leveraging the best of both companies and enabling Navistar to deliver enhanced uptime.
Shares of Bayer (BAYRY) climbed about 1% on news the German chemical company is in "advanced negotiations" to acquire agrochemical company Monsanto (MON) . "While key terms and conditions have not yet been agreed, Bayer would be prepared to provide a transaction consideration of USD 127.50 per Monsanto share only in connection with a negotiated transaction," said the company in a statement. That being said, Bayer added that there can be no assurance that the parties will enter into an agreement.
Meanwhile, Tesla Motors (TSLA) shares were also up about 1% before the bell after CEO Elon Musk asked employees to cut costs. Musk is urging employees to produce more and spend less in order to deliver "every car we possibly can," according to a Bloomberg report. The CEO added that the company will be in a "far better position to convince potential investors to bet on us" if Tesla is able to achieve profitability.
And a rise in gold prices, which advanced about 0.7% to $1,336 a troy ounce, are helping buoy shares of miners including Freeport-McMoRan (FCX) , a member of Real Money's Stressed Out watch list, and Newmont Mining (NEM) , which rose 2% and 1%, respectively, in premarket trading.