U.S. Stocks May Move To The Upside In Early Trading

Stocks may move to the upside in early trading on Tuesday, adding to the modest gains posted in the previous session. The major index futures are currently pointing to a slightly higher open for the markets, with the S&P futures up by 0.2 percent.

Traders may once again look to go bargain hunting following recent weakness, as stocks are poised to close notably lower for the month of February.

Buying interest waned after an early rally on Monday, however, as concerns about the outlook for interest rates continue to hang over the markets.

Overall trading activity may also be somewhat subdued as traders look ahead to some more closely watched economic data in the coming days.

Traders are likely to keep an eye on reports on weekly jobless claims and manufacturing and service sector activity.

The data could shed additional light on the strength of the economy and provide further clues about how much the Federal Reserve is likely to raise interest rates.

Just after the start of trading, MNI Indicators is due to release its report on Chicago-area business activity in the month of February.

The Chicago business barometer is expected to inch up to 45.0 in February from 44.3 in January, although a reading below 50 would still indicate a contraction.

The Conference Board is also scheduled to release its report on consumer confidence in the month of February. The consumer confidence index is expected to tick up to 108.5 in February from 107.1 in January.

After moving sharply higher early in the session, stocks gave back ground over the course of the trading day on Monday. The major averages pulled back well off their early highs but managed to close in positive territory.

The Dow surged more than 370 points in early trading but ended the day up by just 72.17 points or 0.2 percent at 32,889.09. The Nasdaq climbed 72.04 points or 0.6 percent to 11,466.98 and the S&P 500 rose 12.20 points or 0.3 percent to 3,982.24.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Tuesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index inched up by 0.1 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index advanced by 0.7 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets are turning in a mixed performance on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is down by 0.5 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is up by 0.2 percent and the German DAX Index is up by 0.3 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are jumping $1.79 to $77.47 a barrel after falling $0.64 to $75.68 a barrel on Monday. Meanwhile, after climbing $7.80 to $1,824.90 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are sliding $9.30 to $1,815.60 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 136.86 yen compared to the 136.19 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Monday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.0620 compared to yesterday’s $1.0609.

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