By Steve Goldstein, MarketWatch
LONDON (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stock futures edged lower Tuesday as traders took some gains off the table after markets marched to multi-month highs in the prior session.
S&P 500 futures fell 2.2 points to 1,180.90 and Nasdaq 100 futures dropped 3.5 points to 1,970.00. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 9 points.
U.S. stocks rose Monday and yields on 10-year Treasury bonds reached 4% for the first time since June, as data showing nonfarm payrolls growth reinforced belief of a recovery gathering steam. The Nasdaq Composite led the major indexes higher with a 1.2% gain after Apple's introduction of the iPad, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 also moved higher.
Australian Central Bank Raises Rates To 4.25%
The Reserve Bank of Australia is moving rates to neutral, though it could go as high as 6% in the months ahead. Dow Jones Newswires' Mark Cranfield reports.
Yields edged lower Tuesday morning, falling to 3.96%. The dollar also fell vs. the Japanese yen, and most commodity futures declined, which typically are signs of diminished risk appetite.
As the economy recovers, attention turns to the Federal Reserve and when the central bank will hike interest rates from ultra-low levels. At 2 p.m. Eastern, the Fed will release minutes from the March 16 meeting with attention on the discussion of the phrase "extended period" with respect to the low interest rates.
The Treasury also will be auctioning $40 billion of three-year notes.TODAY'S INTERNATIONAL MARKET STORIES
Global Dowâ¢ MarketWatch Topics: Greece â¢ Asia Markets | Europe Markets | LatAm Markets â¢ Canadian Markets | Israel Stocks | London â¢ U.S.: Market Snapshot | After Hours /conga/story/misc/international.html 53366
Meanwhile, debt-laden Greece is struggling to get Asian interest for a planned bond offering, and a report said Greece wants to amend a standby deal to remove International Monetary Fund involvement. See Greece story.
Of companies in the spotlight, Massey Energy /quotes/comstock/13*!mee/quotes/nls/mee (MEE 54.69, +1.64, +3.09%) dropped over 6% in premarket trade after an explosion at a West Virginia coal mine it operates killed at least 25.
Peabody Energy /quotes/comstock/13*!btu/quotes/nls/btu (BTU 46.02, +0.17, +0.37%) raised its bid for MacArthur Coal to 3.6 billion Australian dollars ($3.3 billion) as Noble Group bid for Gloucester Coal, which had earlier agreed to be bought by MacArthur.
Overseas, Asian stocks advanced as Australian equities climbed following a quarter-point rate hike from the Reserve Bank of Australia, while European stocks gained following a four-day break.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown called a British general election for May 6.
Steve Goldstein is MarketWatch's London bureau chief.