Stock futures moved higher on Tuesday, setting up both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq to notch new intraday records by market open.
S&P 500 futures were up 0.11%, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures added 0.16%, and Nasdaq futures gained 0.11%.
The S&P 500 and Nasdaq narrowly secured new record closes a day earlier in lethargic trading. The S&P 500 rose by less than a point to a new record of 2,399.38, while the Nasdaq finished 0.03% higher to a record close of 6,102.
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Volatility also reached its lowest level in more than two decades on Monday. The Volatility Index, often referred to as the fear index, reached its lowest level since 1993. The S&P 500 has fallen or risen by 1% or more only three times since the beginning of the year. The benchmark index has averaged 4.25 days of swings of more than 1% every month since 1950, according to CFRA.
Focus returned to earnings on Tuesday. Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) rocketed more than 10% higher in premarket trading after topping first-quarter earnings expectations. The drugmaker swung to a profit of $1.79 a share following a loss of $1.08 a share in the year-ago quarter. Consensus was for profit of 87 cents a share. The company also increased its guidance for full-year adjusted Ebitda to at least $3.6 billion, up from a previous low-end of $3.55 billion.
SeaWorld (SEAS - Get Report) narrowed its quarterly loss even as revenue and attendance fell by double-digits. The waterpark operator reported a loss of 72 cents a share, narrower than a year-earlier loss of $1 a share, though missing estimates of a loss of 55 cents. Revenue and attendance fell 15%. SeaWorld said attendance was "largely impacted" by a later Easter that pushed the holiday into the second quarter this year.
Discovery Communications (DISCA - Get Report) fell short of earnings estimates as a decline in subscribers offset gains in distribution and advertising revenue. The cable network operator earned an adjusted 41 cents a share, down a nickel from a year earlier and 4 cents below expectations. Quarterly revenue increased 3%, but fell below estimates. U.S. advertising revenue increased 1%, while distribution revenue rose 5%.
Pandora Media (P) increased 4% in premarket trading after confirming that it was considering its options, including a possible sale. Separately, the music-streaming service reported a wider first-quarter loss than a year earlier. An adjusted loss of 24 cents a share came in narrower than an anticipated loss of 33 cents. Total subscribers increased to 4.7 million from 3.9 million a year earlier.
Allergan (AGN - Get Report) rose more than 1% as sales of Botox helped push earnings and sales above Wall Street estimates. Adjusted profit of $3.35 a share came in 4 cents above estimates, while revenue of $3.57 billion exceeded consensus of $3.53 billion. The drugmaker anticipates full-year adjusted earnings between $15.85 and $16.35 a share, meeting analysts' target of $16.03.
Dean Foods (DF - Get Report) swung to a loss in its first quarter, while adjusted earnings missed estimates. The dairy producer reported a loss of 11 cents a share compared to profit of 43 cents in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted earnings of 13 cents a share missed estimates by 4 cents. Sales of $1.99 billion came in $20 million above estimates.
Hertz (HTZ - Get Report) tumbled more than 15% after the car rental firm posted a first-quarter loss much wider than Wall Street forecasts. The company reported a net loss of $2.69 a share compared to a loss of 61 cents a share a year earlier. An adjusted net loss of $1.61 a share was far wider than analysts' target of a loss of 90 cents a share.