Stocks: Waiting for more earnings

  @CNNMoneyInvest February 18, 2014: 7:33 AM ET
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Markets will be looking to corporate earnings Tuesday for reasons to push higher after last week's strong performance.

U.S. stock futures were relatively flat as investors and traders return from the Presidents Day holiday.

While the start of the year was rocky for investors, stocks roared back to life last week. The S&P 500 is now only a few points away from its record closing high.

But further gains are only expected if earnings this week impress Wall Street.

Related: Worst over for stocks? Depends on earnings

Actavis (ACT, Fortune 500) has agreed to buy Forest Laboratories (FRX) for $25 billion in a deal announced Tuesday. Share prices surged in premarket trading.

Coca-Cola (KO, Fortune 500) is set to report quarterly results before the opening bell. Shares edged up before the release. The beverage company's global footprint makes it a good barometer for consumer spending around the world, including emerging markets.

Meanwhile Herbalife (HLF) is slated to report results after the market close.

Related: Fear & Greed Index still mired in fear

In global markets, European indexes were mostly dipping lower in morning trading, though the declines were muted.

Asian markets had a dramatic day. The Nikkei in Japan added 3.1% after Japan's central bank doubled the size of two programs designed to encourage bank lending. The Bank of Japan decided not to increase the size of its asset purchase program despite a disappointing GDP report on Monday.

The Hang Seng posted a small gain on the day, while the Shanghai Composite ended in negative territory. To top of page

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