NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- U.S. stock futures rose early Tuesday in reaction to financial results from retail behemoth Wal-Mart and a wave of economic data.
Hamed Khorsand, analyst at BWF Financial, said that futures were getting "an extra push" from decent earnings reports from two retail giants: Home Depot and Wal-Mart.
"They're both consumer related, and the consumer has been the soft spot for investors right now," he said.
Trading on Wall Street was choppy Monday. The tech-heavy Nasdaq managed to advance, rising about 0.4%, while the Dow and S&P 500 ended little changed.
Companies: Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT, Fortune 500) reported a slightly better-than-expected second-quarter profit but missed sales estimates Tuesday, as customers of the world's largest retailer continued to curb spending. Wal-Mart also boosted its full-year guidance. Shares of the retailer were up 0.8% in pre-market trading.
Shares of fertilizer producer Potash (POT) rose nearly 30% in premarket trading after it rejected a takeover offer by mining company BHP Billiton.
General Motors is expected to file for an initial public offering of stock with U.S. securities regulators as early as Tuesday.
Economy: A slew of economic reports, including data on housing and inflation, showed mixed results.
A report from the Commerce Department showed that housing starts -- the number of new homes starting construction -- totaled an annual rate of 546,000 in July; permits were 565,000.
Both of these tallies were less than expected. Economists were looking for housing starts to rise to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 555,000; building permits were expected to slip to a rate of 573,000.
The Producer Price Index, a measure of wholesale inflation, matched expectations by increasing 0.2% in July, after dropping 0.5% in June.
World markets: European shares got off to a positive start. The CAC 40 in France jumped 1.1% in morning trading, while Germany's DAX and the FTSE 100 in Britain gained about 1%.
In Asia, the Shanghai Composite and Hang Seng ended the session with modest gains. Japan's benchmark Nikkei index, however, fell a;most 0.4%.
Oil futures for September delivery rose 71 cents to $75.95 a barrel.
Bonds: Prices for Treasurys were lower. The yield on the 10-year note rose to 2.6% from 2.58% late Monday. Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.
|Overnight Avg Rate||Latest||Change||Last Week|
|30 yr fixed||4.22%||4.27%|
|15 yr fixed||3.19%||3.24%|
|30 yr refi||4.23%||4.29%|
|15 yr refi||3.21%||3.27%|
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