NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stock futures were slightly lower on Tuesday after the U.S. trade deficit in March surged to a six-year high. 

S&P 500 futures were down 0.25%, Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.21%, and Nasdaq futures slipped 0.39%. 

The U.S. trade deficit jumped to $51.4 billion in March, far wider than an estimated $41.7 billion. Imports increased after the nine-month slowdown at West Coast ports caused a backlog of cargo that is now being cleared. 

"Some forecasters will also revise down their estimates of second-quarter GDP growth, on the false assumption that the surge in imports will be maintained through April and onwards," said Capital Economics chief U.S. economist,Paul Ashworth. "But assuming it really does reflect the catch-up after the port dispute, then we would expect imports to fall back again in April."

Wall Street also digested key earnings reports and awaited the release on Friday of the U.S. jobs report for April.

Walt Disney (DIS) jumped 2.7% in premarket trading after reporting second-quarter earnings of $1.23 a share, up from $1.11 a year earlier. Revenue surged 7% to $12.46 billion. 

Sprint (S) was slightly higher despite missing earnings estimates in its recent quarter. The telecom company said it had added 1.2 million net new customers over the quarter, its biggest increase in almost three years. 

UBS  (UBS) jumped 7% in premarket trading after reporting first-quarter profit nearly double a year earlier. The Swiss bank earned 1.98 billion Swiss francs ($2.12 billion), an increase from 1.05 billion francs a year earlier. 

Kellogg (K) shares were on watch after the company beat on the top- and bottom-line, though revenue sank 4.8% over the quarter. Breakfast food sales fell 2.9%, while snack revenue dropped 1.2%.

Panera Bread (PNRA) is the latest company to announce measures to remove artificial sweeteners and flavors from its products. The move follows Pepsi's (PEP) decision to cut artificial sweeteners from its sodas and Chipotle's (CMG) removal of genetically-modified ingredients from its menu.

Chicago Federal Reserve President Charles Evans is toeing the Fed's party line that weakness in the first quarter was merely transitory. In a speech on Monday, Evans said the risks associated with hiking interest rates too soon outweigh those of delaying any move until 2016. 

"I likely will not feel confident enough to begin to raise rates until early next year," he said in the text of remarks to the Columbus Economic Development Board. "It's inflation that I worry most about. I think if we top out in this cycle with inflation not getting to 2%, that's going to be a problem for us longer term."

The European Union increased its 2015 growth and inflation forecasts as the region's economic recovery gains traction amid monetary stimulus from the European Central Bank. Europe's growth forecast has been raised to 1.5% from 1.3%. 

 

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