NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock futures rose Tuesday though many investors are waiting on the sidelines for what could potentially turn into critical developments in both the U.S. and in Europe.
Germany's high court rejected a last-minute plea Tuesday to postpone a ruling that could block the country's approval of a permanent bailout fund for the European Union. Calls for an injunction from conservative lawmakers who say the fund violates the country's constitution now goes to the country's Federal Constitutional Court on Wednesday.
And global markets remain focused intensely on the U.S. Federal Reserve, whose monetary policymaking body gathers for a two-day meeting that begins Wednesday. Most expect the Fed to take some sort of action to revive an economy that is in danger of stalling.
Dow Jones industrial futures rose 36 points to 13,273. The broader S&P futures added 3.4 points to 1,429.80. Nasdaq futures tacked on 5.75 points to 2,790.25.
Events in Europe are playing a big roll on the Fed's potential action.
On Tuesday, the Commerce Department reported that the trade gap with Europe rose to the highest level since October 2007. Exports to Europe fell 11.7 percent and there are fears that the spreading recession across the Atlantic will smother a fragile U.S. recovery.
The overall trade deficit widened to $42 billion, 0.2 percent higher than June's $41.9 billion deficit.
U.S. exports fell 1 percent to $183.3 billion, lowered by weaker sales of autos, telecommunications equipment and heavy machinery.
Exports are weakening with new signs that unemployment in the U.S. is stuck above 8 percent.
On Friday, the Labor Department reported that employers cut back sharply on hiring last month, putting more pressure on the Fed to act this week.