Gains this year have come on improving signs of
domestic growth, though traders continue to worry about the pace
of economic expansion as well as tensions between Ukraine and
Russia, which many fear could escalate into further violence.
Insight into the state of the economy will come at 8:30 a.m. EDT
(1230 GMT), when April data on both retail sales and import and
export prices will be released. Sales are seen rising 0.4
percent in the month, which represents a deceleration from
March, while import and export prices are both seen up 0.3
Market participants are also watching merger activity. Late
Monday, sources told Reuters that AT&T Inc <T.N> was in active
talks to buy DirecTV <DTV.O>, and that it may complete a deal in
the next few weeks that could be worth close to $50 billion.
Shares of DirecTV rose 4.9 percent to $91.44 in premarket
Separately, Pfizer <PFE.N> suggested it could raise its proposed
$106 billion offer if AstraZeneca <AZN.L> engaged in talks, as
its boss was grilled by UK lawmakers on his commitment to
British research spending and jobs. U.S. shares of Astra <AZN.N>
rose 0.7 percent to $78.39 before the bell.
S&P 500 futures rose 2.9 points and were above fair value, a
formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest
rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow
Jones industrial average futures added 20 points and Nasdaq 100
futures rose 3.75 points.
Wall Street rallied on Monday, with the S&P climbing 1 percent
and the Nasdaq adding nearly 2 percent on the back of
outperformance in the Internet and biotech space. The Russell
2000 <.TOY> index of small-cap stocks climbed 2.4 percent, its
biggest daily percentage gain since early March.
Russia said new European Union sanctions would hinder efforts to
defuse the situation, urging the West to persuade Kiev to hold
discussions on the country's future structure before a May 25
China's economic activity showed across-the-board weakness in
April, with economic indicators on investment and consumption
missing expectations. The data sparked new calls for Beijing to
ease policies to shore up growth.
(Editing by Bernadette Baum)
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