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Stocks - U.S. Futures Hover Close to Highs on Mixed Data; Fed Eyed

Investing.com -- U.S. futures were flat early Tuesday after a mixed bunch of economic data from China and Europe overnight and ahead of another heavy day for earnings, domestic data - and the start of the Federal Reserve's regular policy meeting.

Tech stocks appeared set for a marginally weaker opening after a disappointing quarterly update from Google parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) that showed a marked slowdown in revenue growth. More gloom came out overnight from Samsung (KS:005930), which said it expected the market for memory chips to be depressed by oversupply for another three months before recovering later this year.

Dow futures were up 21 points or 0.1% by 6:45 AM ET (10:45 GMT), while S&P 500 futures were up less than a point from Monday's record high and the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures was down 5 points or 0.1%.

Among the welter of earnings due out today, General Electric (NYSE:GE) beat expectations for both revenue and profit, while pharma Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) also surprised to the upside. McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD), Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), Merck (NYSE:MRK) and Mastercard (NYSE:MA) are all also due to report before the bell, with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) announcing its figures after the close.

Overnight, business surveys in China showed a slight slowdown in factory activity in April, indicating that fiscal and monetary stimulus measures to revive the economy still haven’t had quite the desired effect. However, the euro zone’s economy grew faster than expected in the first quarter, at 0.4%, with Spain growing at an annualized pace of over 2.5% and Italy emerging from recession.

Crude oil futures have bounced again, to $64.42 a barrel, after Saudi Arabia’s oil minister indicated in an interview with the Russian news agency RIA Novosti that he wants the current supply restraint agreement to stay in place through the end of the year.

That’s despite pressure from President Donald Trump to increase output and bring prices down.

Khalid al-Falih said that market remained amply supplied and that there was room for Saudi Arabia to raise its output without breaching the ceiling agreed with its partners at the end of last year. Al-Falih’s audience in Russia is more skeptical about keeping barrels off the market beyond June.

Prices were also supported by reports that Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido had called on the country's soldiers to overthrow the government of President Nicolas Maduro.

Elsewhere in commodities, gold futures edged higher to $1,286.85 a troy ounce, while in the currency market, the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was down 0.3% at 97.32 as the Eurozone data revived the euro, while movements in oil supported the Canadian dollar.

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