Stock Futures Gain Amid Earnings Bounce

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stock futures were pointing higher Tuesday after a batch of better-than-expected corporate earnings reports appeared poised to push U.S. markets to new record highs.

Markets around the world were bolstered Tuesday as the official Shanghai Securities News said the Chinese government is planning to invest in high-speed railways to help prevent annual economic growth from drifting below 7%. Shares were likewise lifted as the Japanese government raised its economic growth outlook for third-consecutive month. This follows Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's victory in Sunday's upper house elections amid expectations it will give him greater flexibility to pursue aggressive monetary policies.

Futures for the S&P 500 were rising 3 points, or 2.97 points above fair value, to 1,693.25. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were gaining 42 points, or 50.45 points above fair value, to 15,533. Futures for the Nasdaq were tacking on 6.5 points, or 5.72 points above fair value, to 3,054.

Of the 157 S&P 500-listed companies expected to report second-quarter earnings this week, 35 were expected to release results Tuesday.

DuPont ( DD) was popping 3.9% to $59.40 after the chemicals conglomerate posted earnings that surpassed second-quarter estimates by a penny at $1.28 a share but revenue that fell below estimates. The company said that it's planning to sell or spin off its performance chemicals unit, which includes the paint pigments division, and to reshuffle management.

Travelers ( TRV) was rising 1.84% to $87 after the insurance giant and Dow component exceeded second-quarter expectations with earnings of $2.13 a share versus the average analyst estimate of $1.60. Revenues came in below the Wall Street target. Still, the company said its experiencing lower catastrophe losses as well as continued improvement in underlying underwriting margins in all segments.

Texas Instruments ( TXN) was advancing 3.74% to $38.75 after the chipmaker provided some positive remarks on semiconductor demand for the rest of the year and booked second-quarter earnings that beat expectations by a penny at 42 cents a share. Revenues matched estimates.

Apple ( AAPL) shares were edging up to $427.43 in premarket trading. The company is expected by Wall Street to report on Tuesday fiscal third-quarter earnings of $7.32 a share on revenue of $35.02 billion. Apple posted a profit of $9.32 a share in the year-earlier quarter on revenue of $35 billion.

Apple is under scrutiny over whether it can re-energize the opinions of Wall Street and investors that the iPhone and iPod maker remains innovative and that its products are still relevant in the changing world of technologies.

United Parcel Service ( UPS) was ticking down 0.13% to $87.50 after the shipping giant said Tuesday that second-quarter earnings fell as customers opted for lower-cost shipping methods. The company also reduced full-year EPS guidance to a range between $4.65 and $4.85. The consensus estimate had been $4.98.

Netflix ( NFLX), the online entertainment company, reported earnings on Monday that beat Wall Street estimates but subscriber numbers that fell short. Shares were tumbling 4.13% to $251.21. Netflix reported earnings of 49 cents a share on revenue of $1.069 billion in the second quarter. Analysts expected Netflix to earn 40 cents a share on revenue of $1.07 billion.

The company added 630,000 domestic streaming subscribers, and 610,000 international streaming subscribers, bringing Netflix's total to 29.84 million domestic streaming subscribers. Expectations on Wall Street called for Netflix to add 700,000 domestic streaming subscribers.

AT&T ( T), the second-largest cellphone carrier in the U.S., is expected by Wall Street to post second-quarter earnings on Tuesday after the market close of 68 cents a share on revenue of $31.81 billion.

In other corporate headlines, Sourcefire ( FIRE) was soaring 29.32% to $76.38 after Cisco ( CSCO) announced that it was buying the cybersecurity company for $2.7 billion. Cisco was dipping 0.58% to $25.57.

U.S. stocks gained Monday as sluggish existing home sales and lower-than-expected earnings from McDonald's ( MCD) bolstered the outlook that the Federal Reserve is unlikely to begin curbing its stimulus measures in the near future.

The U.S. data calendar is light Tuesday. The Federal Housing Finance Agency's May housing price index will be released at 9 a.m. EDT.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was falling 12/32, bolstering the yield to 2.526%.The dollar was up 0.13% to $82.33 according to the U.S. dollar index.

The FTSE 100 was rising 0.3% and the DAX in Germany was up 0.3%. The Hong Kong Hang Seng finished ahead by 2.33%. The Nikkei 225 in Japan closed up by 0.82%.

September crude oil futures were down 63 cents to $106.31 a barrel. August gold futures were slipping $6.40 to $1,329.60 an ounce.

Written by Andrea Tse in New York

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