Stock futures crept higher as Wall Street searched for a catalyst ahead of trading on Tuesday and crude oil prices made a slight recovery.
S&P 500 futures were up 0.18%, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 0.07%, and Nasdaq futures gained 0.21%.
Crude oil prices rebounded somewhat on Tuesday after settling at a near one-week low a day earlier. Prices have been under pressure on signs of ballooning U.S. stockpiles and an uptick in global production. Weekly data on Friday showed another increase in oil-drilling rig activity in the U.S.
West Texas Intermediate crude was up 0.6% to $48.53 a barrel on Tuesday morning.
"Crude oil prices are still suffering from its last technical breakdown, from which it will take a bit more time to recover," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial. "Despite increasing levels of domestic production, we continue to see a rebalancing of the market in the second half of the year with prices trading between $60 and $65."
Wall Street ended an up-and-down session with mixed results on Monday as the S&P 500 fell and the Nasdaq held close to its flatline. Stocks have struggled for direction this week as Wall Street comes down from a rally last week following the Federal Reserve's decision to hike rates.
A number of Fed officials will be making the rounds on Tuesday following the decision last week to increase rates: Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank President Esther George will speak on the U.S. economy and the Fed at a Women in Housing and Finance event in Washington at 12 p.m. EDT; Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester is scheduled to speak at the University of Richmond in Richmond, Va., at 6 p.m.; and Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren will address the 12th Asia-Pacific High Level Meeting on Banking Supervision in Bali, Indonesia, at 9:45 p.m.
Other than that, the economic calendar does not heat up until later in the week. Existing home sales for February will be released on Wednesday; new home sales for February are set for Thursday; and durable goods orders for February are scheduled for Friday.
The second day of confirmation hearings for Neil Gorsuch to serve as the nation's 113th Supreme Court justice will be getting underway Tuesday morning. Hearings began late Monday morning. In an unprecedented move a year earlier, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Senate Republicans refused to hold a hearing for Obama's pick, Merrick Garland, after Justice Antonin Scalia's death that February.
Lennar (LEN - Get Report) climbed nearly 1% in premarket trading Tuesday after a better-than-expected quarter driven by healthy demand in the housing market. Net income fell to 56 cents a share from 63 cents a year earlier, though came in a penny higher than anticipated. Revenue of $2.34 billion exceeded estimates of $2.14 billion. Home deliveries rose to 5,433 from 4,806.
General Mills (GIS - Get Report) was down 0.7% in premarket trading after sales came in slightly weaker than forecast. The packaged foods company earned an adjusted 72 cents a share, higher than a target of 71 cents, though revenue fell 5.2% to $3.79 billion. Analysts anticipated revenue of $3.82 billion. General Mills anticipates full-year earnings growth between 5% and 7%, more than expected.
Carnival (CCL - Get Report) was upgraded to outperform from market perform at William Blair. Analysts said the company will likely beat earnings estimates as it enjoys favorable trends through this year and next.
Wall Street Goes to Washington: In the first of a series of conversations with the President's economic advisors, acclaimed author and columnist Michael Wolff will sit down with Anthony Scaramucci, co-founder of private equity firm Skybridge Capital, to discuss the Trump administration, his thoughts on policies and regulations under debate and his outlook for the next four years. Join us for this cocktail party on Monday, March 27 at The Metropolitan Club in New York. The event is free, but seating is limited and reservations are required. For more information or to RSVP, email firstname.lastname@example.org.