US pre-open: Stocks tick higher ahead of earnings deluge
Wall Street futures were mixed prior to the open on Tuesday ahead of a busy day for corporate earnings.
As of 1235 GMT, Dow Jones futures were up 0.19%, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures had the indices opening 0.07% and 0.01% higher, respectively.
The Dow closed 36.98 points lower on Monday, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite both set new record highs.
Tuesday's main focus will be earnings from large companies like General Electric, which moved higher after publishing its quarterly figures, and Johnson & Johnson, which was also in the green after topping expectations.
Verizon was still slated to report results before the bell, while tech behemoth Microsoft will release its second-quarter earnings later in the day.
As far as the Covid-19 pandemic was concerned, US health officials and lawmakers cautioned Americans about new strains of the coronavirus after Moderna said its vaccine did provide a certain amount of protection against a variant found in South Africa and Minnesota reported the first confirmed case of a Brazilian strain of the virus in the US.
The US has now confirmed a total of 25.86m cases of Covid-19, claiming the lives of more than 431,390 Americans in the process.
Also in focus was news that Joe Biden's stimulus plans appeared to be at risk of being watered down in order to appease lawmakers on the Republican side of the aisle, with the new president stating he was open to narrowing eligibility for the $1,400 stimulus cheques.
Markets.com's Neil Wilson said: "This should help the deal get through Congress, but the timing is becoming the issue – more delays on delays in the vaccine rollout are not supportive of risk appetite. Moreover, it's becoming clear that governments are not going to lift restrictions as quickly as they might due to fears about mutations and vaccine delays."
On the macro front, the IMF world economic outlook will be published at 1300 GMT, while the S&P/Case-Shiller November home price index will be released at 1400 GMT and both the Conference Board's January consumer confidence survey and this month's manufacturing index from the Richmond Fed will be posted at 1500 GMT.
The Federal Reserve will also begin its two-day policy meeting on Tuesday.