U.S. stock futures edged higher early Tuesday as investors awaited a reading on the services sector and a bevy of earnings reports for further confirmation that the economy is improving.
Stocks soared Monday, sending Wall Street's benchmark indicator, the Standard & Poor's 500 index, into positive territory for the year and the Dow Jones industrials up more than 200 points. Positive news on the housing market fueled the gains.
Since early March, investors have become more optimistic about the economy's chances for a turnaround, encouraged by an increasing amount of upbeat data. This has enabled investors to look past evidence that challenges remain, including mixed earnings reports and millions of job losses.
On Tuesday, investors will look to the Institute for Supply Management's April report on the services sector, to be released at 10 a.m. Eastern time (1400 GMT).
There are also a number of earnings reports expected from big-name companies including Kraft Foods Inc., CVS Caremark Corp., Duke Energy Corp., Walt Disney Co. and Pulte Homes Inc.
Later Tuesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will testify before Congress to answer questions about the Fed's multitrillion-dollar efforts to get banks lending freely again and stimulate the economy.
Ahead of the market's open, Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 12, or 0.1 percent, to 8,371. Standard & Poor's 500 index futures gained 0.5, or 0.1 percent, to 903.30, while Nasdaq 100 index futures added 4.25, or 0.3 percent, to 1,426.75.
Investors still face a number of hurdles this week, including the closely watched April employment report, due Friday, and the results of the government's stress tests of banks, expected Thursday.
The tests are supposed to determine which banks would need more cash if the economy weakens further. Analysts are expecting several banks to need more capital.
But if the tests show more pain in the banking industry than anticipated, analysts believe the market could easily reverse course, after putting in its best two-month performance in more than 35 years.
With Monday's gain, the S&P 500 has soared 34.1 percent since the rally began March 9, its steepest gain over that many days since 1933. The Dow is up 28.7 percent.
Bond prices were little changed. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves opposite its price, held steady at 3.16 percent.
The dollar was mixed against other major currencies, while gold prices rose.
Light, sweet crude fell 3 cents to $54.44 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Overseas, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index inched up 0.3 percent. In late morning trading, Britain's FTSE 100 was up 3.0 percent, Germany's DAX index gained 0.4 percent, and France's CAC-40 rose 0.4 percent. Markets in Japan were closed for a national holiday.