NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stock futures held gains Tuesday after economic data had U.S. import prices falling in May in a sign inflation remains tame and a gauge of manufacturing activity pointing to improved conditions in the New York region.
Investors were also focused on deals and data as well as a six-notch credit rating downgrade of under-fire oil giant BP.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 59 points to 10,200, while those for the S&P 500 rose 7.1 points to 1,093.30.
Futures for the Nasdaq 100 rose 13.25 points to 1,859.75.
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The Labor Department reported import prices fell 0.6% in May from April, while the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Empire Manufacturing Survey pointed to improved business conditions in June.
"We need to see more surveys to get a broader gauge of manufacturing but today is off to a good start," said Peter Boockvar, equity strategist at Miller Tabak.
U.S. stocks ended lower Monday, with the Dow industrials surrendering more than a 120-point advance after Moody's Investor Service cut Greece's government-bond ratings by four notches to a junk-grade rating. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 20.18 points at 10,190.89. Read more on Moody's downgrade of Greece.
A cautious stance came from Joel Kruger, currency strategist with Daily FX, who said "the broad resurgence in risk appetite looks to be facing its first challenge" on Tuesday across many markets.
"We would recommend looking to use Monday's lows in some of the major markets to gauge directional bias. Developments over the past several hours have produced a mixed sentiment towards risk, and taking to the sidelines seems to be a logical strategy," he said.
Later, the June NAHB home builders' index and Treasury inflow data also will be released.
Among stocks in focus, shares of BP /quotes/comstock/13*!bp/quotes/nls/bp (BP 31.35, +0.68, +2.22%) were up 0.8% in pre-open trading, only partially recovering Monday's latest stumble. BP's credit rating was slashed by six notches at Fitch Ratings, while the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Environment will hold a hearing Tuesday with senior officials from Exxon Mobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Shell, and BP's U.S. president and chairman Lamar McKay. See BP credit rating slashed
Later Tuesday, President Barack Obama will make his first Oval Office address, underlining the scale of the Gulf catastrophe and vowing to hold BP to account for the environmental damage wrought by its eight-week-old oil spill.
Also in focus, News Corp. /quotes/comstock/15*!nws/quotes/nls/nws (NWS 16.30, +0.85, +5.50%) bid $11.5 billion for the shares it doesn't already own in U.K. satellite television provider BSkyB. BSkyB rejected the offer but entered into negotiations. News Corp. also owns MarketWatch, the publisher of this report. See more on BSkyB rejects News Corp. bid
Apple /quotes/comstock/15*!aapl/quotes/nls/aapl (AAPL 258.29, +4.01, +1.58%) could also be in focus after it unveiled a redesigned, energy-efficient Mac Mini desktop.
Meanwhile, Research in Motion /quotes/comstock/15*!rimm/quotes/nls/rimm (RIMM 61.70, +2.38, +4.02%) is planning a touch-screen smartphone with a slide-out keyboard and is experimenting with a tablet device, people familiar with the company 's plans told The Wall Street Journal.
Shares of Best Buy /quotes/comstock/13*!bby/quotes/nls/bby (BBY 38.47, -2.58, -6.29%) were down 5.4% in pre open trade after the electronics retailer said its fiscal first-quarter profit per share was flat at 36 cents, versus estimates of 50 cents.
Europe markets shook off early losses, with the Stoxx Europe 600 index rising 0.6%. Markets took in stride a sharply disappointing ZEW confidence survey for Germany, with the economic expectations index declining to 28.7 in June from 45.8 in May, against forecasts for a reading of 42.5.
But Spain remains a focus for many investors. EU officials denied on Monday that they're readying a bailout package for Spain from the euro zone's support mechanism.
"Spain continues to be the pivotal country for sentiment and the health of the financial system," said Jim Reid, strategist with Deutsche Bank.
Asia shares ended modestly higher, with property stocks leading Hong Kong.
Crude oil futures were up 72 cents to $75.84 a barrel, while gold futures gained $2.90 to $1,227.40 an ounce.
Barbara Kollmeyer is an editor for MarketWatch in Madrid. Kate Gibson is a reporter for MarketWatch, based in New York.