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U.S. futures edge higher, earnings in focus; Dow Jones up 0.01%

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Shutterstock photo - U.S. stock futures pointed to a a moderately higher open on Tuesday, as sentiment remained globally supported by the Bank of Japan's new monetary stimulus program, while markets awaited the release of company earnings.

Ahead of the open, the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.01% gain, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.11% rise, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.27% increase.

The BoJ conducted its first government bond purchasing operation on Monday, purchasing JPY1.2 trillion of Japanese government bonds maturing in five years or more.

Sentiment also improved as official data showed that the annual rate of Chinese consumer inflation eased to 2.1% in March from 3.2% in February and below forecasts for 2.4%.

The data eased market concerns over further policy tightening by the Chinese government.

Alcoa was expected to be in focus, as shares dropped 0.36% in pre-market trade, after the U.S. aluminum group posted a better-than-expected first-quarter profit on Monday evening, but said revenue slightly missed estimates.

Retailers were also likely to be active, after J.C. Penney parted ways with Chief Executive Ron Johnson and rehired Johnson's predecessor, former CEO Myron Ullman, to revive the company, sending shares down 5.10% in early trading.

In the energy sector, Brazil's oil regulator, the ANP, said on Monday that it authorized Chevron to restart output from an offshore oil field more than a year after a November 2011 spill forced U.S. oil giant to stop Brazilian production.

In addition, Bloomberg reported that Exxon Mobil will have to pay New Hampshire USD236 million in damages for contaminating its drinking water with the gasoline additive MTBE. Shares edged up 0.02% after hours.

Elsewhere, General Motors was reportedly planning to deepen cuts to output at one of its South Korean plants in April to cope with slowing sales in Europe.

Also in company news, the U.S. Justice Department said on Monday it had reached a settlement with chemical companies Ecolab and the privately held Permian Mud Service Inc, allowing their proposed merger to move forward without one of Permian's subsidiaries.

Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were higher. The EURO STOXX 50 climbed 0.55%, France's CAC 40 advanced 0.53%, Germany's DAX added 0.22%, while Britain's FTSE 100 gained 0.35%.

During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index cli,bed 0.7%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 Index was flat. - offers an extensive set of professional tools for the Forex, Commodities, Futures and the Stock Market including real-time data streaming, a comprehensive economic calendar, as well as financial news and technical & fundamental analysis by in-house experts.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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