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TheStreet Open House

Market Hustle: Stock Futures Rise Ahead of Housing Data; Disney Advances

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were edging higher Tuesday as Walt Disney (DIS) shares rose and investors awaited a full slate of economic reports, much of it focused on the housing market.

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 64 points, or 70.31 points above fair value, to 16,266, S&P 500 futures were up 6.75 points, or 6.91 points above fair value, to 1,856.25, and Nasdaq futures were up 12.3 points, or 15.51 points above fair value, to 3,623.3.
  • Walt Disney was climbing 1.18% after agreeing to acquire Maker Studios, a leading network of online video content on YouTube, for $500 million. If certain performance targets are met, the number could increase to $950 million.
  • Walgreen (WAG)was down slightly at $64.20 in premarket trading after the company posted fiscal second-quarter earnings that missed by 2 cents at 91 cents a share and a same-store sales increase of 4.3%. The company heads into the second half of the year with expectations that the generic drug headwind that affected the first half will ease and turn around by the end of the year.
  • Rackspace Hosting (RAX) was surging more than 5% after being bolstered to "overweight" from "equal-weight" by Morgan Stanley analysts.
  • Economic reports on tap Tuesday include the Case-Shiller 20-city home price index for January at 9 a.m. EDT, the Federal Housing Finance Agency Housing Price Index for January at 9 a.m., consumer confidence for March at 10 a.m., and February new-home sales at 10 a.m. New home sales are expected to have slid to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 445,000 from an annual pace of 468,000 due to the prolonged, harsh winter weather and the rise in mortgage rates in late 2013.
  • Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Plosser, a policy hawk, and Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Dennis Lockhart, an FOMC alternate member and dove, will be speaking about the economic outlook later this evening.
  • International markets were mixed, with the Nikkei 225 closing down 0.36%, the Hong Kong Hang Seng finishing off 0.52% as markets in Asia were still digesting soft China and U.S. manufacturing data. The FTSE 100 gaining 1.05% and the DAX in Germany higher by 1.12% ahead of the U.S. housing market reports.
  • U.S. markets closed lower Monday, ceding early gains after poor manufacturing data in the U.S. and China, the world's first- and second-largest economies.
  • S&P Capital IQ's chief equity strategist Sam Stovall said that the markets are more focused right now on very near-term events rather than events that what could happen further out, such as the Fed hiking interest rates, adding that in the coming days, portfolio managers will probably be busy concentrating on end-of-quarter window dressing.
  • "Investors are probably better off today focusing on such mundane issues as the approaching Q1 reporting season," Stovall added in a recent note.

-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York

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