U.S. markets look to extend their winning streak to 3 days, as U.S. stock futures are flat in the pre-market hours despite disappointing earnings reports from Disney (DIS - Get Report) and Molycorp (MCP - Get Report). However, the majority of the earnings focus will be on Cisco (CSCO - Get Report), reporting after the bell -- the company has a lot to prove.
Analysts are expecting Cisco to earn 37 cents a share on sales just under $1 billion. Gross profit margins are expected to fall from 65% to 62% from a year earlier. The stock is down 13% year-to-date and has an average downside of 11% after the past four quarterly reports. As a result, investors will be wondering if a repeat performance is coming ... or will Cisco surprise to the upside.
Investors will also be trading a medley of Cisco's competitors: Juniper Networks (JNPR - Get Report), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), Dell (DELL), Broadcom (BRCM - Get Report), Adtran (ADTN) and NetApp (NTAP - Get Report).
Investors will be eager to hold onto yesterday's gains following a push in the S&P 500 index above the 1352 area. Sellers held the market to this level last Friday after the U.S. government job report.Asian markets continue their multi-day upswing on news that Tokyo Electric Power will receive aid from the Japanese government, sending the stock up over 8%. Goldman Sachs (GS) says that Japanese car makers are well on their to full recovery from supply disruptions caused by the earthquake, adding to bullish momentum. European markets advanced on positive earnings reports from Ericsson (ERIC), Peugeot Citroën and Hermes. Meanwhile, investors continue to ignore the soaring costs of insuring Greek debt. German Chancellor Angela Merkel says Greece must accomplish certain goals before additional aid is considered, potentially driving the Greek government closer to debt restructuring, thus putting more pressure on the Euro currency. Gold and silver continue to rebound as the U.K., Germany and China are among many countries facing increased inflation pressures. The SPDR Gold Trust ETF (GLD) and iShares Silver Trust ETF (SLV) remain heavily traded in equity markets and are popular among investors wary of worldwide currency issues. Crude oil is down ahead of inventory numbers at 10:30am -- more reports of increased supplies could send oil lower, dragging the oil services index down as well.