Futures point to higher open for U.S. stocks

* U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open for Wall
Street on Tuesday as the corporate earnings season gathers pace,
with S&P 500 futures (SPc1: ) up 0.4 percent, Nasdaq futures
(NDc1: ) 0.6 percent higher, and futures for the Dow Jones
industrial average (DJc1: ) up 0.3 percent by 0856 GMT.

* Kicking off the earnings season on Wall Street, aluminium
firm Alcoa (AA.N: ) reported better-than-expected second quarter
results after the closing bell on Monday, which raised hopes
that the latest round of company earnings could exceed
expectations. Its shares were up 4 percent in extended trading.

* Second-quarter results from Intel Corp (INTC.O: ) and Yum!
Brands (YUM.N: ) are expected on Tuesday, with JPMorgan Chase
(JPM: ) reporting on Thursday and Bank of America (BAC: ), Citigroup
(C: ) and General Electric (GE: ) expected to release numbers on

* Caution prevailed in the U.S. stock market on Monday, with
indexes edging higher as investors kept bets to a minimum in
front of earnings.

* Gains in equities, however, could be capped by some
nervousness over the outlook for euro zone peripheral countries
after ratings agency Moody’s Investor Service cut its rating on
Portugal by two notches to A1. [ID:nLDE66C0FN]

* Individual companies likely to be in focus include BP
(BP.N: ) as the oil major made preparations to try sealing off its
runaway well with a new cap that the British group said could,
for the first time in 12 weeks, finally arrest the flow of oil
spewing from the Gulf of Mexico. [ID:nN13221621]

* The board of American International Group (AIG.N: ) is set
to meet this week to consider the future of its AIA unit, with a
public float seen as the most likely outcome, sources said on
Tuesday. [ID:nTOE66C00I]

* Data set for release on Tuesday include international
trade numbers for May at 1230 GMT, and June’s federal budget at
1800 GMT.

* In Europe, the pan-European FTSEurofirt 300 (.FTEU3: ) index
of leading shares was up 1.4 percent in mid-morning trade, on
track to close higher for the sixth straight day.

* In Asia, equities were pressured by reports that China
will not relax tougher property measures any time soon, a move
which touched a nerve among investors who are already sensitive
to how much China’s economy (Read more about the fastest growing economy.) is slowing. [ID:nTOE66C004]

* The International Monetary Fund’s chief reiterated on
Tuesday that strong growth in Asia and Latin America made it
unlikely that the global economy would suffer a double-dip
recession. [ID:nTOE66A02X]

* Boosting credit to needy small businesses is “crucial” to
sustain a tepid U.S. recovery but how to do so poses a difficult
policy challenge, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on
Monday. [ID:nN12194953]
(Reporting by Harpreet Bhal; Editing by Michael Shields)

Futures point to higher open for U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. )