Futures Hesitate as China Lifts Rates

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures pointed to a largely flat open Tuesday, pulling back from the previous session's gains, as investors absorbed China's second interest rate hike in just over a month.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up by 8 points, or 2 points above fair value, at 12,116. Futures for the S&P 500 were higher by two-tenths of a point, or nearly two-tenths of a point above fair value, at 1316, and Nasdaq futures were ahead by 1 point, or 2 points below fair value.

Stocks held strong gains throughout Monday's session amid a spate of deals.

The People's Bank of China raised interest rates for the second time in slightly more than a month as part of its ongoing attempt to combat inflation.

Japan's Nikkei added 0.4% while the Hong Kong Stock Exchange fell 0.3%. London's FTSE was losing 0.2% while the DAX in Frankfurt was up by 0.1%.

With no economic releases scheduled for Tuesday's session, the market is likely to focus on earnings news.

Shares of Beazer Homes ( BZH) were down 4.6% to $5.20 ahead of Tuesday's opening bell after the homebuilder reported a first-quarter loss of $48.8 million , or 66 cents a share, and said revenue plunged 48% to $110.3 million. Analysts had been expecting a loss of 50 cents a share on sales of $163.7 million.

Swiss bank UBS ( UBS) posted its first annual profit since 2006 and said fourth-quarter earnings rose to 1.29 billion Swiss francs ($1.35 billion), from 1.2 billion Swiss francs a year ago. Analysts, however, had been expecting earnings of 1.45 billion Swiss francs. The stock was up by 2% at $18.76 in early trading.

Shares of Toyota ( TM) were up by 0.4% at $85.50 despite reporting a 39% decrease in third-quarter profit as the automaker lifted its year-end profit and sales guidance .

Kindred Healthcare ( KND) saw its stock jump 5.2% higher to $20.49 during the premarket trading session on news that it will acquire RehabCare ( RHB) for roughly $900 million.

In commodity markets, the March crude oil contract was trading $1.18 lower at $86.30 a barrel. The most actively traded April gold contract was ahead by $4.50 to trade at $1,352.70 an ounce.

The dollar weakened against a basket of currencies with the dollar index down by 0.4%. The benchmark 10-year Treasury fell 3/32, lifting the yield to 3.652%.

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--Written by Melinda Peer in New York.
Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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