Futures up ahead of manufacturing data

The Associated Press Published:

Stock futures are rising ahead of a pair of monthly reports that cover manufacturing and construction.

KEEPING SCORE: Dow Jones industrial average futures are up 41 points, or 0.3 percent, to 16,414 as of 8:50 a.m. Eastern time. Standard & Poor's 500 index futures are up five points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,869. Nasdaq futures are up 10 points, or 0.3 percent, to 3,596.

ECONOMY WATCH: The Institute for Supply Management will release its closely-watched survey of U.S. manufacturing activity in March. Economists forecast that the ISM's gauge inched up to 54 in March from 53.2 in February. Any reading above 50 indicates growth. And the Commerce Department releases its February report on U.S. construction spending. Economists believe that spending rose by a slight 0.1 percent as storms raked the country and halted work crews.

HOT SEAT: General Motors' new CEO Mary Barra and the head of the nation's auto safety watchdog are headed to Congress Tuesday where they will testify about a defect in small cars that is linked to 13 deaths.

In written testimony released ahead of the House subcommittee hearing, acting National Highway Traffic Safety Administration chief David Friedman says GM had information connecting defective ignition switches to the non-deployment of air bags, but didn't share it until last month.

Executives from manufacturing giant Caterpillar Inc. are also heading to Capitol Hill to explain what one senator calls an aggressive strategy to avoid paying billions of dollars in U.S. taxes.

EUROPE: Major markets in Europe rose. Germany's DAX was up 0.6 percent while France's CAC 40 was up 0.9 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.6 percent.

ASIA: Japan's Nikkei 225, the main index for the Tokyo Stock Exchange, closed down 0.2 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 1.3 percent, and China's Shanghai Composite rose 0.7 percent.

OTHER MARKETS: The yield on the 10-year Treasury note edged up to 2.75 percent from 2.72 percent late Monday. The price of crude oil slipped 15 cents to $101.43. Gold added $2.40 to $1,286.30.