US stock futures rise ahead of reports

By STAN CHOE | October 25, 2011 | 1:51 PM EDT

In this Oct. 24, 2011 photo, traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Stock markets fluctuated on Tuesday as investors cautiously waited for European leaders to unveil a plan to tackle the continent's debt crisis, while corporate earnings were mostly upbeat. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock futures are rising modestly ahead of reports on consumer confidence, home prices and corporate earnings.

Strong earnings growth has helped the S&P 500 rise 11.6 percent since Oct. 4, and more companies on Tuesday reported gains above analysts' expectations. DuPont, Coach Inc. and U.S. Steel reported stronger results.

Economists expect a report later Tuesday to show that Americans' confidence in the economy is still weak. Consumer confidence is near where it was in the spring of 2009. But retail sales still grew in September at their strongest pace in seven months.

About 90 minutes ahead of the opening of trading, Dow Jones industrial average futures are up 21, or 0.2 percent, to 11,846. S&P 500 futures are up 4.20, or 0.3 percent, to 1,251.30. Nasdaq 100 futures are up 7.25, or 0.3 percent, to 2,382.