Wall Street set for slight rise

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WallStreet1234 Reuters. A Wall Street sign is pictured outside the New York Stock Exchange in New York.

New York - US stocks were poised for a slightly higher open on Tuesday after earnings from JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs and ahead of testimony from US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.

* Yellen is set to begin her semi-annual testimony on the central bank's monetary policy before the Senate Banking Committee at 10:00 a.m. (16:00 SA time).

Investors will be closely monitoring for any indication on when the Fed plans to hike interest rates.

* JPMorgan Chase shares rose 2.6 percent to $57.75 in premarket trade after the biggest US bank by assets reported second-quarter earnings that topped expectations.

* Goldman Sachs shares advanced 1.9 percent to $170.15 before the opening bell after the bank posted its second-quarter results.

* Fellow Dow component Johnson & Johnson edged up 0.4 percent to $105.75 in premarket trade.

The diversified healthcare company reported sharply better-than-expected quarterly revenue and earnings.

* S&P 500 profits are seen growing 6.2 percent in the second quarter, according to Thomson Reuters data, down from the 8.4 percent growth forecast at the start of April.

Revenue is seen up 3.1 percent. S&P 500 companies expected to report earnings after the close include Yahoo and Intel.

* S&P 500 e-mini futures rose 2.25 points and fair value - a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract - indicated a slightly higher open.

Dow Jones industrial average e-mini futures rose 33 points and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures added 8.25 points.

* In a flurry of economic data releases, the New York Fed's Empire State index OF general business conditions rose to 25.60, the highest level since April 2010, from 19.28 in June and above the 17 estimate.

* But retail sales rose 0.2 percent last month after an upwardly revised 0.5 percent advance in May, shy of the estimate calling for a 0.6 percent rise.

* In addition, import prices edged up 0.1 percent in June, shy of the 0.3 percent estimate, after increasing by a revised 0.3 percent in May.

* Chemicals maker Albemarle Corp said it would buy rival Rockwood Holdings Inc for $6.2 billion to bulk up its lucrative specialty chemical offerings. Rockwood shares jumped 11.8 percent to $84.65 in premarket.

* In other M&A news, Reynolds American said it would acquire Lorillard for about $25 billion.

Lorillard shares were down 5.5 percent to $63.50 while Reynolds American lost 2.5 percent to $61.60 in premarket trade. - Reuters


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