NEW YORK (
) -- Stock futures edged up slightly as investors focused on positive earnings news despite a political standoff over the debt crisis in Washington.
Futures for the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
were flat at 12,550. Futures for the
were up 2 points, or 2 points above fair value, at 1336, and
futures were up 4 points, or 6 points above fair value at 2427.
Stocks finished firmly in the red Monday.
While both Democrats and Republicans accept a deal that would raise the debt limit, cut spending and include no new taxes, Republicans are holding steadfast for a two-step proposal that would first raise the debt ceiling by less than the Democrats' plan, avoiding a U.S. Treasury default now but bringing about the same issues again during the 2012 election year. Some believe this would threaten President Obama's re-election.
European markets hovered close to the flat line after oil company
and Swiss bank
delivered disappointing earnings reports. The FTSE in London was ticking up 0.1%, and the DAX in Frankfurt was about flat.
BP's profits came short of expectations because of higher oil price costs. The company reported $5.6 billion in profits while analysts were expecting around $5.9 billion. Shares were losing 2.2% to $464.75 per share. Meanwhile UBS was dropping 2.5% to $17.43 per share after reporting new jobs cuts and a drop in second quarter profits.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng settled up 1.3% and Japan's Nikkei ticked up 0.5%.
Gold was trading about flat after hitting a record high of $1,624 during intraday trading on Monday. Gold for August delivery was last slipping $1.70 to $1,611 an ounce.
The benchmark 10-year Treasury was losing 6/32, pushing the yield above 3%. The dollar was weakening against a basket of currencies, with the dollar index down 0.6%.
Concerns persisted over whether a $157 billion bailout for Greece, which is expected to slip into a temporary default, would successfully contain a potential debt contagion in Europe. The euro was gaining against the dollar by 1.4%.
Earnings continued to be the one bright spot amid political uncertainty in the U.S. and fiscal weakness in Europe. China's largest Internet company
was also giving a boost to the overall market with shares gaining 6% to $9.19. A surge in ad sales helped the company bringing in $252.6 million in the quarterly income.
reported second-quarter earnings of $2.4 billion, or 65 cents a share excluding items, down from $2.6 billion, or 68 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue jumped to $35.5 billion. Analysts were looking for 60 cents a share on revenue of $31.6 billion. Shares however were gaining 1.8% at $13.38 before the open.
was dropping before the bell after the company reported a drop in revenue from LCD televisions. The company, which makes products ranging from Post-It Notes to auto parts, reported earnings of $1.60 per share, about in line with estimates. 3M's stock had already appreciated almost 11% this year before it reported quarterly results.
At 10 a.m. ET, economists are expecting a slide in consumer confidence as measured by the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index, from a reading of 58.5 in June to 56 in July.
U.S. home prices fell 4.5% in May compared to the same time last year. Consensus estimate was looking for a 4.4% drop. April saw a revised 4.22% drop in prices. The latest reading from the S&P/Case-Shiller index suggests that the housing market continues to be a drag on the economic recovery.
New-home sales for June, to be released by the Commerce Department at 10 a.m., are expected to remain about flat from the last month at 320,000, compared with 319,000 in May.
In earnings news yesterday,
missed revenue estimates
when it reported quarterly earnings of $1.26 a share on sales of $788.6 million. Shares are plunging 9% to $281.53.
reported quarterly revenue of $3.46 billion, slightly ahead of the expected $3.44 billion in revenue. Earnings came in at 56 cents per share, while analysts were looking for 53 cents per share. Disruptions from the Japanese earthquake delivered a blow to supply orders, but the semiconductor company is expected to rebound in the latter half of the year. Shares were gaining 0.1% to $31.47.
The September crude oil contract was gaining 42 cents to trade at $99.62 a barrel.
-- Written by Chao Deng in New York