Posted: Aug 28, 2012 6:45 AM by CNNMoney Staff
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - U.S. stocks were poised for small gains Tuesday on what's expected to be another quiet day on Wall Street, as investors await remarks from central banks later this week.
Markets are in a holding pattern until Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks Friday in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Investors are hopeful that he will announce further action to ease growing concerns about a U.S. economic slowdown.
Minutes released last week from the Fed's latest two-day meeting suggested that unless the economic recovery regains substantial strength, additional stimulus could come "fairly soon."
U.S. stock futures were slightly higher.
Meanwhile, investors are keeping tabs on light crude oil futures for October, which crept up over 60 cents to $96.10 Tuesday, as Tropical Storm Isaac is curtailing oil production along the Gulf of Mexico. The national average price for a gallon of regular gas continues to increase, hitting $3.756 Tuesday, according to the motorist group AAA. Experts say that prices could shoot up another 10 cents fairly quickly, depending upon the extent and duration of the refinery shutdowns.
U.S. stocks ended little changed Monday, as investors wait and see whether the world's central banks will announce additional stimulus measures.
World Markets: European stocks slid into the red early Tuesday, amid concerns over global growth. Britain's FTSE 100 shed 0.1%, the DAX in Germany lost 0.4% and France's CAC 40 fell 0.3%.
Asian markets ended the session mixed. The Shanghai Composite added 0.9% and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong ticked up 0.1%, while Japan's Nikkei fell 0.6%.
Economy: The Case-Shiller 20-city home price index for June, due at 9 a.m. ET, is expected to have decreased by 0.3%, according to a survey of analysts by Briefing.com.
The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index for August, due at 10 a.m. ET, is expected to come in at 65.7, down from 65.9 in July.
Companies: Firms including Canada's Bank of Montreal and Scotiabank are due to release quarterly results before the bell.
Bank of Montreal is expected to report earnings of $1.38 a share on $3.9 billion in revenue, according to a survey of analysts by Thomson Reuters. Scotiabank is expected to post earnings of $1.20 a share.
Best Buy shares rose in premarkets after gaining 3.2% during Monday's trading session. The gains followed Best Buy's announcement that it will give its founder, Richard Schulze, the chance to take a closer look at its financial statements as he finalizes a takeover proposal.
Currencies and commodities: The dollar lost ground against the euro and the Japanese yen, but managed gains versus the British pound.
Oil for October delivery rose 63 cents to $96.10 a barrel.
Gold futures for December delivery fell $9.60 to $1,666 an ounce.
Bonds: The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury rose, pushing the yield down to 1.65% from 1.68% late Monday.