NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stock futures were drifting higher Tuesday on a light economic calendar day as investors latched onto calls by a Federal Reserve official to launch an aggressive bond-buying program.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 40 points, or 45.49 points above fair value, at 13,107. Futures for the S&P 500 were up 6.4 points, or 6.37 points above fair value, at 1396. Futures for the Nasdaq were rising 18 points, or 15.36 points above fair value, at 2705.
Eric Rosengren, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that the Fed should launch an aggressive, open-ended bond buying program that the central bank would continue until economic growth picks up and unemployment starts falling again.
Rosengren said the Fed should buy more mortgage-backed securities and possibly U.S. Treasury securities, and make it clear that it will continue to buy bonds "until we start seeing some pretty significant improvements in growth and income," the newspaper reported.Investor optimism stemming from last week's better-than-expected jobs report carried over into Monday's quiet session with traders getting no new domestic economic data to chew over and few earnings headlines to key on as second-quarter reporting season winds down. The Dow Jones Industrial Average wavered in the final hour of trading but still managed to finish Monday with a gain for the first time since May. The economic calendar in the U.S. Tuesday includes consumer credit for June, due at 3 p.m. EDT. Economists, according to Briefing.com, are calling for a $10 billion increase on the heels of May's surprise $17.1 billion jump. "We have consumer credit numbers from the U.S. today, which should continue to demonstrate reasonable expansion," said Paul Donovan, a global economist at UBS. "U.S. banks seem increasingly willing to lend money, and U.S. consumers seem increasingly willing to borrow money. The U.S. financial system is hardly undergoing a credit boom, but the willingness of the banking system to transmit monetary policy is clear." September crude oil futures were up 4 cents at $92.24 a barrel. December gold futures were up $1.30 at $1,617.50 an ounce. The benchmark 10-year Treasury fell 2/32, raising the yield to 1.578%. The greenback was flat, according to the dollar index. In Europe, Italy's national statistics office reported that the economy there shrank for a fourth consecutive quarter in the second quarter and reported a bigger-than-expected drop in June industrial production. German manufacturing orders declined in June. Also, the Office for National Statistics reported a less than expected fall in industrial output in the United Kingdom for June. The FTSE in London was flat and the DAX in Germany was up 0.54%. The Hong Kong Hang Seng index closed up 0.37% and the Nikkei in Japan finished up 0.88%. British bank Standard Chartered saw its shares drop sharply Tuesday following charges from the U.S. that the bank was involved in laundering money for Iran. New York State Department of Financial Services alleged on Monday that Standard Chartered "schemed with the Government of Iran and hid from regulators roughly 60,000 secret transactions, involving at least $250 billion, and reaping SCB hundreds of millions of dollars in fees," over a nearly 10-year period. Standard Chartered said it "strongly rejects" the allegations. The New York State financial regulator has threatened to revoke the license of Standard Chartered to operate in the state pending a formal hearing. Chevron (CVX) said early Tuesday a fire that struck its large refinery in Richmond, Calif., was contained, but not yet extinguished. The fire hit the sole crude unit at the 245,000 barrel per day plant, which accounts for one-eighth of California state's refining capacity, according to Reuters. Walt Disney (DIS) reports fiscal third-quarter results after Tuesday's closing bell and analysts are calling for earnings of 93 cents a share on revenue of $11.30 billion. Sirius XM Radio (SIRI) reported better-than-expected second-quarter revenue of $837.5 million. Analysts, on average, were expecting revenue of $834.38 million. Earnings per share were in line with estimates of 2 cents a share.
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