US STOCKS-Futures higher as oil rises
* Futures up: Dow 50 pts, S&P 8 pts, Nasdaq 19 pts
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
April 12 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were higher on Tuesday as oil rose even as Alcoa's weaker-than-expected quarterly results kicked off the earnings season on a dismal note.
* Crude rose above $40 per barrel on hopes that a meeting of major producers on Sunday would result in a deal to curb a persistent global oversupply.
* Data from China showing an 8.8 percent rise in March vehicle sales also supported the rise in oil.
* Shares of Alcoa were down 4.2 percent at $9.33 in premarket trading.
* Investors will turn their attention to corporate earnings over the next several weeks, amid turbulent global markets and the uncertainty about the U.S. Federal Reserve's plan to raise interest rates.
* Wall Street closed lower on Monday with consumer staples offsetting a rise in bank and materials stocks.
* Data on Tuesday is likely to show U.S. import prices rose 1 percent in March after falling 0.3 percent the previous month. The report is due at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT). Continuación...