U.S. stock futures extended gains on Tuesday after data showed that retail sales rose 0.8% to a seasonally adjusted $403.9 billion in July, posting the biggest gain since February. Another factor pushing the futures higher was a positive poll regarding investor confidence. Investor confidence in the global economic outlook in August saw its sharpest rise since the spring of 2009, according to the monthly Bank of America Merrill Lynch survey of fund managers released Tuesday. The report, which polled 173 fund managers, found that a net 15% of those surveyed believe the global economy will strengthen in the next year. The report cites "growing expectations of intervention by the European Central Bank" for the optimistic outlook and says that investors are becoming far less bearish on the euro zone. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 50 points to 13,187 and those on the S&P 500 index climbed 5.90 points to 1,408.5. Nasdaq-100 futures rose 11 points to 2,739. As trading began the indices began to lose some of their gains, and by mid-day had pulled back by nearly half. Coming into the last hour of trading stock began to give up even more reaching negative levels with around twenty minutes left in trading. The Dow closed down 2.48 points, the S&P 500 down 0.19 points, and the Nasdaq down 5.54 points. Foreign markets posted gains today, with many of the major indices in the green. In European markets; the FTSE 100 closed up 32.90 points or 0.56%, the CAC 40 up 23.86 points or 0.70%, and the DAX also up 64.71 points or 0.94%. In the Asian markets, the Hang Seng posted a gain of 210.32 points which is 1.05%, and the Nikkei 225 was also up 44.73 points or 0.50%. In corporate news; Home Depot (HD) released earnings today in which they beat EPS estimates, and raised their full year guidance; shares jumped nearly 4%. Michael Kors (KORS) was another company that had a great earnings report propelling their shares up 16%. Groupon (GRPN) also released a decent earnings report, however the company released news that there was a decline in gross billings from the March period, which analysts believe indicates a weakening in the company's core daily deals business. Furthermore, Groupon went on to cut their third quarter estimates, causing shares to crash over 26%. One of the largest losers of the day was Envivio Inc. (ENVI), which lost around 55% after cutting its second quarter revenue forecast. The company now estimates revenue of $10 million to $11 million, down from its previous range of $17 million to $18 million. Overall, it was a very flat day, leaving investors wondering what the market needs to continue its recent upward trend.
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