NEW YORK — Stock futures are edging lower ahead of pending U.S. data on new homes sales and consumer confidence. U.S. markets are still hovering near all-time highs.
KEEPING SCORE: Dow Jones industrial average futures are down 10 points to 16,830 before the start of trading. Standard & Poor's 500 index futures are down two points to 1,950, while Nasdaq 100 futures are up two points to 3,796.
DRUG BOOST: Vertex Pharmaceuticals soared $34.83, or 52 percent, to $101.33 in premarket trading Tuesday after saying its treatment for cystic fibrosis appeared to work better than a placebo in a late-stage study. Cystic fibrosis is a rare inherited disease that causes thick mucus to form in the lungs and other organs. Because of the results, Vertex plans to seek approval for the treatment in the U.S. and Europe.
INDICATORS: Economists believe that the Commerce department will report that sales of new homes rose 1.6 percent in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 440,000. Sales recovered in April after slumping in the previous two months, but the pace remained slower than it was a year earlier. The private Conference Board reports on consumer confidence for June, with most expecting a slight uptick.
NEWS OF THE WORLD: Two powerful British political insiders met starkly different fates Tuesday as former News of the World editor Andy Coulson was convicted of phone hacking but fellow editor Rebekah Brooks was acquitted after a months-long trial centering on illegal activity at the heart of Rupert Murdoch's newspaper empire. A jury at London's Old Bailey unanimously found Coulson, the former spin doctor of British Prime Minister David Cameron, guilty of conspiring to intercept communications by eavesdropping on mobile phone voicemails. Brooks was acquitted of that charge and of counts of conspiring to bribe officials and obstruct police.
BONDS AND COMMODITIES: In government bond trading, prices rose. The yield on the 10-year note, which falls when prices rise, dropped to 2.60 percent from 2.63 on Monday. The price of oil was little changed at $106.16 a barrel.