(By Balachander) U.S. stock index futures pointed to a modestly higher open on the Wall Street ahead of a two-day meeting of U.S. Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC).
Mini Dow Industrial Average futures advanced 25 points to 13,026. The Nasdaq futures rose 9.75 points to 2,645.50. Standard and Poor's 500 futures inched up 2.40 points to 1,382.90.
Investors keenly anticipate the U.S. Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy decision on Wednesday and the European Central Bank's policy meeting a day after amid growing hopes of monetary intervention by the central bankers to spur global economic growth.
On domestic economic front, U.S. personal income rose 0.5 percent and personal spending fell less than 0.1 percent for June, a data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis showed. Economists expected income and spending at 0.4 percent and 0.1 percent, respectively. For May, income rose 0.3 percent and spending fell less than 0.1 percent based on revised estimates.
Meanwhile, Chicago-area purchasing managers' index for July is due for release at 9:45 am ET, followed by the Conference Board's July consumer-sentiment data at 10:00 am.
On Monday, U.S. stocks closed on a negative note as investors await for new signs from policy makers later this week amid hopes of further monetary measures to stimulate the global economy.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: PFE, STX, HUM, VLO, REGN, CMI, DNDN
In corporate news, Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) added 1.14 percent in premarket after the New York-based pharmaceutical giant posted better-than-expected quarterly earnings as drop in costs and expenses offset decline in revenue due to loss of exclusivity of cholesterol drug Lipitor in the U.S.
Seagate Technology Plc (NASDAQ:STX) tumbled 9.63 percent in premarket the Dublin-based maker of hard disk drives reported quarterly earnings and revenue that trailed market expectations. Cost of revenue jumped 30 percent and operating expenses surged 28 percent. Seagate shipped roughly 66 million disk drives during the three-month period.
Humana Inc. (NYSE:HUM) retreated 8.93 percent after the Louisville, Kentucky-based health insurance benefits company reduced its earnings forecast for 2012 and guided third-quarter below consensus. The company's second-quarter results trailed Wall Street view amid rise in operating expenses.
Valero Energy Corp. (NYSE:VLO) added 5.75 percent in premarket after the San Antonio, Texas-based petroleum refiner delivered earnings for the second quarter that beat market expectations.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:REGN) declined 2.82 percent after the Tarrytown, New York-based biopharmaceutical company said the U.S. health regulators requested additional clinical data for its Arcalyst treatment to prevent gout flares.
Cummins Inc. (NYSE:CMI) rose 2.79 percent in premarket after the Columbus, Indiana-based maker of diesel engines reported quarterly earnings that topped market forecasts.
Dendreon Corp. (NASDAQ:DNDN) plunged 14.89 percent in premarket after the Seattle, Washington-based biotechnology company posted a loss for the second quarter. Revenue trailed market expectations and the company said it will slash 41 percent of jobs as part of its restructuring plan.
United States Steel Corp. (NYSE:X) and Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET) rose 3.96 percent and 3.28 percent, respectively following their quarterly reports.
European markets traded mixed, with Germany's DAX advancing 0.52 percent to trade at 6,809.11. France's CAC40 traded 0.06 percent higher at 3,322.66. U.K.'s FTSE 100 shed 0.18 percent to trade at 5,683.62.
Among Asian markets, China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index fell 0.30 percent to finish at 2,103.63. Japan's Nikkei 225 gained 0.69 percent to end at 8,695.06. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rallied 1.08 percent to end at 19,796.81. India's BSE Sensex finished at 17,236.18, up 0.54 percent.
Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil futures rose 0.35 percent to $90.090 per barrel. Gold futures gained 0.26 percent to $1,628.3 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro traded 0.42 percent higher against the U.S. dollar at 1.2312 while the British pound dipped 0.18 percent against the greenback to 1.5682. The dollar edged 0.03 percent lower against the Japanese yen to 78.1600.