U.S. stock index futures signal small rise at open
PARIS, July 31 (Reuters) - * U.S. stock index futures pointed to slight gains at the open on Wall Street on Tuesday, with futures for the S&P 500 up 0.17 percent, Dow Jones futures up 0.22 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures up 0.28 percent at 0820 GMT. * European shares halted a three-day rally and oil dipped on Tuesday as investors sensed that a recent sharp rally built on anticipation of bold stimulus measures from central banks in the United States and Europe may have been overdone. * U.S. and European equities have been boosted by mounting expectation that the European Central Bank will revive its bond buying programme to help lower the borrowing costs of debt-stricken Spain and Italy, while the Federal Reserve has been under renewed pressure to support flagging growth. Both central banks hold policy meetings this week. * On the economic side, investors awaited U.S. personal income data, due at 1230 GMT, the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index for May, due at 1300 GMT, and U.S. consumer confidence numbers for July, due at 1400 GMT. * On the earnings front, a raft of companies are due to report results, including Aetna, Electronic Arts, Goodyear, Pfizer and Valero Energy. * Car rental company Hertz Global Holdings Inc posted a quarterly profit that beat market expectations as margins improved. Strong demand from business and leisure travelers is boosting business at U.S. hotels and airlines, in turn helping car rental companies. * Eastman Chemical Co posted quarterly profit on Monday that beat forecasts, as lower supply costs helped offset a drop in demand for specialty plastics. * The recent ouster of General Motors Co's global marketing chief is related to a hugely expensive sponsorship deal with England's Manchester United soccer club for which GM is paying twice as much as the team's previous automotive sponsor. * Japanese electronics conglomerate Toshiba Corp posted a better-than-expected rise in quarterly operating profit on Tuesday, boosted by strong overseas earnings in its social infrastructure division despite sluggish chip sales. * Japan's Panasonic Corp reaped a near sevenfold gain in quarterly profit after slashing costs, and its new boss looks set to use that extra cash for a new round of layoffs and business restructuring to revive the electronics giant. * Toyota Motor Corp is set to raise its 2012 global sales forecast to 8.8 million vehicles from the 8.58 million it had announced in February as it sees solid auto sales in emerging economies, Yomiuri newspaper reported on Tuesday. * Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest brewer, fell short of second-quarter earnings expectations due to the expense of marketing new U.S. brands and higher transport costs there and in Brazil, but it forecast improvements in the second half. * U.S. stocks finished flat on Monday as investors paused following the best two-day run this year, with central bank meetings and a full load of U.S. economic data looming. * The Dow Jones industrial average dipped 2.65 points, or 0.02 percent, to 13,073.01 at the close. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index edged down just 0.67 of a point, or 0.05 percent, to 1,385.30. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 12.25 points, or 0.41 percent, to end at 2,945.84.
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