Looking for a rally extension
U.S. stocks poised to follow overseas markets despite higher oil prices; Wal-Mart tops earnings target but gives disappointing guidance.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - U.S. stocks appeared ready to follow overseas markets higher Tuesday, despite the sharp rise in oil prices due to recent attacks by militants on Nigerian oil production.
Futures were up, indicating a higher open for U.S. markets, after most major overseas stock markets were building on the gains they posted Monday.
Major markets in Asia closed higher Tuesday, led by a 3 percent rebound by Tokyo's Nikkei index. While Japan's markets closed lower Monday, most major Asian markets opened the week higher. Major European markets were also up in early trading Tuesday after reaching multi-year highs Monday.
"Basically we had some good overseas trading. I think that is basically propelling us to a higher opening here, " said Peter Cardillo, chief market strategist for SW Bach. "I just think the market is living with the fact that oil prices are trading around these levels, and it's getting a lift from the 10-year yield being below 4.60 percent."
Oil prices were sharply above Friday's levels in early trading, after weekend attacks on pipelines in Nigeria, Africa's largest oil producer. The March light crude futures contract for NYMEX gained $1.46 from Friday's level to $61.34 a barrel in electronic trading; the NYMEX market was closed Monday for Presidents Day. The April contract for Brent crude gained 10 cents from Monday's level to $61.64.
In earnings news, No. 1 retailer Wal-Mart Stores (Research), reported better than expected results for the quarter than includes the holiday shopping period, but it gave disappointing earnings guidance for the current fiscal year that was below forecasts.
Home Depot (Research), the other retail component of the Dow, reported a better than forecast gain in earnings early Tuesday. Also due to report results Tuesday was Federated Department Stores (Research), the owner of Macy's and Bloomingdale's. Workers at some key New York area Macy's stores voted to authorize a strike Monday.
In economic news, investors will see leading economic indicators at 10 a.m. ET Tuesday. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com forecast that index will be up 0.5 percent for January, compared with a 0.1 percent gain in December.
At 2 p.m. ET, minutes of the Jan. 31 meeting of the Federal Reserve, the last chaired by former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, will be released.
In corporate news, Time Warner (Research) and financier Carl Icahn announced late Friday that they had reached agreement for Time Warner to increase its share repurchase program to the $20 billion sought by Icahn from its previously-announced $12.5 billion target. It will also name two new independent directors to its board, as Icahn drops his effort to take control of Time Warner and break it up into four companies. But the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday the deal will lift Time Warner debt to $35 billion. CNNMoney.com is a unit of Time Warner.
Shares of Time Warner gained 1.6 percent in after-hours trading Friday following the announcement.
For a more detailed look at the markets before the open, click here.