Stock futures slipping before Yellen testimony

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock futures are trading lower as investors await comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, scheduled to address Congress on the economy. A new report Tuesday shows that housing prices rose in March, but at a slower pace than a month earlier.

KEEPING SCORE: Dow Jones industrial average futures are down 20 points to 16,424. The Standard & Poor's 500 index futures as given up 2.5 points to 1,873. Nasdaq futures are down five points to 3,585.

HOME PRICES: U.S. home prices rose at a slightly slower pace in the 12 months that ended in March, according to data provider CoreLogic. It's another sign that weak sales, caused in part by rising mortgage rates, have begun to restrain the housing market's sharp price gains.

DRUG DEAL: Merck & Co. rose 87 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $59.50 in premarket trading after the drug company agreed to sell its non-prescription medicine and consumer care business to Germany's Bayer for $14.2 billion. Products in those businesses include Claritin allergy pills, Coppertone sun lotion and Dr. Scholl's footcare products.

EUROPE: In Europe, Germany's DAX fell 0.8 percent while the CAC-40 in France has given up 0.7 percent. In the U.K., the FTSE 100 is down 0.5 percent.

TREASURIES: The yield on the 10-year Treasury note is down to 2.60 percent from 2.61 percent Monday.