U.S. futures edge lower as markets eye Yellen; Dow Jones down 0.10%


Investing.com -

Investing.com - U.S. stock futures pointed to a steady open on Tuesday, as investors remained cautious ahead of fresh earnings reports, as well as Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's testimony before Congress, due to begin later in the day.

Ahead of the open, the Dow 30futures pointed to a 0.10% loss, S&P 500futures signaled a 0.17% fall, while the Nasdaq 100futures indicated a 0.06% dip.

Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen was set to testify before Congress on Tuesday and Wednesday.

In the minutes of the Federal Reserve's June policy meeting released last week, the U.S. central bank predicted an October close to its bond-buying stimulus program but did not hint at a timetable as to when interest rates may begin to rise afterwards.

The tech sector was expected to be in focus, amid reports Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is planning its biggest round of job cuts in five years.

The reductions, which could be unveiled as soon as this week, are expected to include areas such as Nokia and divisions of Microsoft that overlap with that business, as well as marketing and engineering.

Separately, Novartis (SIX:NOVN) said its Alcon unit will work with Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) to develop smart contact lenses with embedded electronics to improve vision and monitor health.

According to a statement, the Swiss company will work with the Google X division on lenses with non-invasive sensors, microchips and embedded miniaturized electronics to monitor insulin levels for people with diabetes.

Auto stocks were also slated to be active, after German group Volkswagen (XETRA:VOWG) announced that it is planning to spend $900 million to build a mid-sized SUV at its U.S. plant in Tennessee, nearly doubling the factory's workforce, in a move to boost sales in the world's second-largest auto market.

Other stocks likely to be in focus included Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), JP Morgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), Yahoo! Inc (NASDAQ:YHOO), CSX (NYSE:CSX), Pinnacle Financial (NASDAQ:PNFP) and Commerce Bancshares (NASDAQ:CBSH), scheduled to report quarterly earnings later in the day.

Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were lower. The DJ Euro Stoxx 50 declined 0.80%, France's CAC 40 dropped 0.56%, Germany's DAX retreated 0.50%, while Britain's FTSE 100 slipped 0.21%.

During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.49%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 advanced 0.64%.

Later in the day, the U.S. was to release data on retail sales, as well as data on import prices, business inventories and manufacturing activity in the Empire state.

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