U.S. stocks were heading for a narrowly mixed open Tuesday as oil prices rose and investors dealt with potential management shakeups at two of the nation's biggest companies.
Futures on the
were down 2 points to 1309.70, trading about half a point above fair value. Nasdaq 100 future were lower by 3 points to 1599, around 3.3 points under fair value.
Violence in the Middle East was giving an early lift to crude prices. A group of terrorists opened fire on the U.S. embassy in Damascus, but Syrian police killed three of the attackers and secured the facility before it could be overrun. The Syrian government said the militants had automatic rifles, hand grenades and at least one van rigged with explosives.
October oil futures were up 32 cents to $65.93. Other energy contracts were also higher. Precious metals gained ground, with gold adding $6.40 to $603.70 an ounce and silver higher by 21 cents at $11.45 an ounce.
board will meet later Tuesday to decide whether to fire Chief Executive Peter Dolan. During his five years at the helm, Bristol's shares have fallen roughly 60%, and he now finds himself drawing shareholder anger because of his handling of an attempt to keep a generic version of Plavix off the market.
The Wall Street Journal
reported that a federal monitor appointed to oversee the company after last year's legal settlement recommended that the board fire Dolan and general counsel Richard Willard.
, the board again didn't take any action after meeting further to discuss Chairwoman Patricia Dunn's role in a secret program to access the phone records of directors and a group of journalists.
Among earnings, electronics retailer
and investment-banking giant
will be releasing their quarterly results before the opening bell.
To view Farnoosh Torabi's video take on today's market, click here