Investing.com - U.S. stocks opened moderately higher on Tuesday, after mixed U.S. economic reports as investors awaited Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen''s testimony before Congress, due to begin later in the trading session.
During early U.S. trade, the Dow 30 added 0.17%, the S&P 500 edged 0.07% higher, while the NASDAQ Composite eased up 0.02%.
The Commerce Department reported that U.S. retail sales rose just 0.2% in June, below forecasts for a 0.6% increase. Retail sales for May were revised up to 0.5% from a previously reported 0.3%.
A separate report showed that manufacturing activity in New York state rose to a four year high this month. The Empire state manufacturing index rose to 25.6 from 19.3 in June. Analysts had expected the index to decline to 17.0.
Market participants were looking to Ms. Yellen’s remarks later Monday for fresh indications on the future direction of monetary policy after last week’s minutes of the Fed’s June meeting revealed little new information on when rates could start to increase.
Among earnings, Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) beat analysts'' expectations, coming in at $4.10 a share on revenue of $9.13 billion, sending shares in the U.S. lender up 1.47%.
J P Morgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM) added to gains, surging 3.70%, after reporting quarterly earnings and revenue that exceeded analysts'' expectations.
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) also posted quarterly earnings and revenue that topped market expectations, but shares in healthcare company still tumbled 1.82% at the open of the U.S. trading session.
Elsewhere, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) gained 0.52% amid reports the software giant is planning its biggest round of job cuts in five years.
The reductions, which could be unveiled as soon as this week, are expected to include areas such as Nokia and divisions of Microsoft that overlap with that business, as well as marketing and engineering.
On the downside, Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) slipped 0.08% even after Novartis said its Alcon unit will work with the tech company to develop smart contact lenses with embedded electronics to improve vision and monitor health.
According to a statement, the Swiss company will work with the Google X division on lenses with non-invasive sensors, microchips and embedded miniaturized electronics to monitor insulin levels for people with diabetes.
Other stocks likely to be in focus included Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) and Yahoo! Inc (NASDAQ:YHOO), scheduled to report quarterly earnings later in the day.
Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were lower. The DJ Euro Stoxx 50 declined 0.77%, France’s CAC 40 retreated 0.68%, Germany''s DAX slid 0.33%, while Britain''s FTSE 100 fell 0.18%.
During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong''s Hang Seng gained 0.49%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 advanced 0.64%.
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