Stocks: Waiting on Bernanke

@CNNMoneyInvest July 17, 2012: 8:43 AM ET
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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- U.S. stocks were set to open higher Tuesday as investors considered more earnings reports and Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke's testimony before a Senate committee.

Dow Jones industrial average (INDU), S&P 500 (SPX) and Nasdaq (COMP) futures were higher. Stock futures indicate the possible direction of the markets when they open at 9:30 a.m. ET.

Coca-Cola (KO, Fortune 500) and Goldman Sachs (GS, Fortune 500) reported positive quarterly results, and shares of both companies were up in premarket trading. Shares of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ, Fortune 500) were down after it released figures.

Results coming after the close include chipmaker Intel (INTC, Fortune 500) and Internet portal Yahoo (YHOO, Fortune 500), which named Google executive Marissa Mayer as its new CEO late Monday.

Investors will also get data on the health of the broader economy amid worries about whether the U.S. recovery may be sputtering.

Later Tuesday, Bernanke will give his semi-annual monetary policy testimony before the Senate Banking Committee. Investors will be listening closely for any clues about whether the central bank is considering a third round of quantitative easing, expanding the money supply.

ForexLive currency analyst Gerry Davies said investors will be moved most by Bernanke's testimony. The London analyst noted heightened speculation the Fed could take action to stimulate the economy through a third round of quantitative easing.

"If you look at it logically, the market doesn't think too deeply," Davies said. "But QE won't really have an effect on the economy. It's akin to pushing on a piece of string."

In Europe, there were more delays toward a debt crisis solution. Germany's high court said it will be another eight weeks before it issues its decision on the legality of the multinational bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism.

Spain's auction of 12- and 18-month debt resulted in yields that were lower than last month. But debt worries remain, and the yield Spain's on 10-year note edged up to 6.80%, closer to the 7% point that the nation's prime minister has deemed untenable.

U.S. stocks finished lower Monday as investors moved into Treasuries, sending the 10-year yield to a record low after disappointing June retail sales data.

World markets: European stocks were mixed in afternoon trading. Britain's FTSE 100 (UKX) was 0.3% lower, the DAX (DAX) in Germany added 0.6% and France's CAC 40 (CAC40) ticked up 0.5%.

Asian markets closed higher. The Shanghai Composite (SHCOMP) rose 0.6%, the Hang Seng (HSI) in Hong Kong gained 1.8% and Japan's Nikkei (N225) added 0.4%.

Economy: Consumer prices rose at a 1.7% annual rate in June, unchanged from May.

Other reports on tap for Tuesday morning include industrial production and foreign purchases of Treasuries.

The Federal Reserve will release data at 9:15 a.m. ET on June industrial production, which is expected to have risen by 0.3%.

Companies: Goldman Sachs beat expectations and reported earnings per share of $1.78 on $6.63 billion in revenue. Shares were up more than 2% in premarket trading even though earnings per share was lower than the previous quarter and this time last year.

Coca-Cola shares were up more than 1% in premarket trading after it reported earnings per share of $1.21 on revenue of $13 billion. Both figures were better than analysts' forecasts.

Shares of Johnson & Johnson fell more than 1% in premarket trading. The company's earnings per share of $1.30 were no surprise, but reported revenue of $16.5 billion was lower than analysts had predicted.

Sprint Nextel (S, Fortune 500) shares were up more than 4% in premarket trading as the telecom company launched faster service in 15 cities across the United States. The new 4G LTE network is about 10 times faster than the commonly used 3G and is available on five of its phones.

Yahoo shares were up more than 2% in premarket trading after the company named Marissa Mayer, a Google (GOOG, Fortune 500) executive who was one of the first two dozen employees at the search leader, as its new CEO on Monday.

HSBC (HBC) shares fell 2.4% in after-hours trading Monday. A U.S. Senate report released late Monday said HSBC failed to prevent billions of dollars worth of money transfers that investigators believe were linked to drug cartels and terrorist groups.

Currencies and commodities: The dollar fell against the euro and British pound, but gained versus the Japanese yen.

Oil for August delivery rose 16 cents to $88.59 a barrel.

Gold futures for August delivery rose $3.40 to $1,595 an ounce.

Bonds: The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury fell, pushing the yield up to 1.49% from 1.46% late Monday.  To top of page

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,380.41 263.17 1.63%
Nasdaq 4,258.44 41.05 0.97%
S&P 500 1,886.76 24.00 1.29%
Treasuries 2.20 0.05 2.14%
Data as of 7:17am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.21 0.13 0.81%
General Electric Co 24.82 0.57 2.35%
Microsoft Corp 43.63 0.89 2.08%
Alcoa Inc 15.62 1.02 6.99%
Pfizer Inc 27.83 0.13 0.47%
Data as of Oct 17
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15 yr fixed3.05%3.11%
5/1 ARM3.71%3.19%
30 yr refi4.03%4.19%
15 yr refi3.11%3.17%
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