Investors upbeat with earnings in view

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Investors were returning to markets in an upbeat mood Tuesday as trading resumes after a holiday break.

U.S. stock futures titled higher, with the Dow Jones industrial average futures rising 0.3% and the Nasdaq-100 futures up 0.5%. U.S. markets were closed Monday for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Stocks ended last week mixed. The S&P 500 briefly moved into positive territory mid-week, before falling back into the red. The Dow is down for the year.

After last year's spectacular rally, investors have been looking for signs the economy will be able to keep the bull market going in 2014. This year is expected to be another good year for stocks, but perhaps not as strong as 2013.

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Tuesday morning kicks off with results from Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Verizon (VZ) and Delta (DAL). IBM (IBM) is expected to deliver its results after the closing bell. A spate of company earnings will follow later this week.

European markets posted slight gains in morning trading, with Germany's DAX and London's FTSE 100 adding 0.2%.

Asian markets rose Tuesday, supported by China's central bank injecting billions into the financial system to boost liquidity.

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China's Shenzhen Composite Index climbed 1.5% following stellar trading debuts of eight Chinese firms, which are among the first handful of companies allowed to list in China since the government ended a 14-month IPO ban.

Japan's Nikkei gained 1%, while Thailand's SET index added 0.5% amid growing political tensions and ongoing anti-government protests in the country.

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