Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were falling 20 points, or 6.93 points below fair value, at 13,812. Futures for the S&P 500 were down 4.50 points, or 2.48 points below fair value, at 1492. Futures for the Nasdaq were falling 7 points, or 5.33 points below fair value, at 2730.
Major U.S. stock averages ended mixed Monday even after Caterpillar (CAT) shares popped, as investors took a breather following a substantial run-up in the benchmark indices the prior week.
Ted Weisberg, president of Seaport Securities, during an interview with TheStreet Monday evening noted that the markets have had a big move in January, one that's been much better than many investors had expected. That said, Weisberg noted that a year-ago January was also a pretty good month; most of the profits that were made last year were made in the first quarter of 2012."The big question for us going forward as we start to exit fourth-quarter earnings, which have been OK, not spectacular, but just OK, is when the focus of investors return to the U.S. economy, the housing market, the unemployment numbers, our dysfunctional politicians, so on and so forth, the eurozone, the geopolitical problems ... without the benefit of the fourth-quarter earnings and considering the move that we've had in the market where everything is pretty much priced to perfection, it doesn't leave a lot of room for disappointment," he said. Weisberg weighed in on his outlook on consumer confidence, factoring in the expiry of payroll tax cuts. "If you're lucky enough to have a job, you're going to have less spending money because of the reimposition of the payroll tax. It's not grey, it's black and white," he said. "And there's no question that that is going to, I would think, take its toll, a negative toll, on the consumer, unless the flipside of it is, is that the economy starts to pick up and there are more jobs, and we get some pressure on higher wages." At 9 a.m. EST, the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index is expected by economists to show a year-over-year gain of 5.5% in November after rising 4.3% the previous month. At 10 a.m., the Conference Board is expected to say that consumer confidence fell to 64 from in January from 65.1. The first two-day Federal Reserve meeting of the year kicks off Tuesday. The DAX in Frankfurt was down 0.24% and the FTSE was off 0.08%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed down 0.07% on Tuesday while the Nikkei in Japan settled up 0.39%. Gold for February delivery was rising $6.40 at $1,659.30 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, while March crude oil futures were falling 5 cents at $96.39 a barrel. The benchmark 10-year Treasury was down 1/32, raising the yield to 1.964%. The dollar was up by 0.05%, according to the U.S. dollar index. Yahoo! (YHOO) reported a fourth-quarter revenue increase of 4% from a year earlier and adjusted profit exceeded analysts' expectations. Shares were jumping more than 3% in premarket trading. Ford posted fourth-quarter earnings of 31 cents a share on revenue of $36.5 billion amid strength in its North American operations, beating the average analyst estimate of earnings of 26 cents a share on revenue of $32.96 billion. However, the automaker's outlook on Europe was gloomy. The company said the business environment in Europe remains uncertain and predicted full-year 2013 results for Ford Europe to be at a loss of about $2 billion, compared to prior guidance of a loss about equal to 2012. Shares were sliding more than 1.5%. Drugmaker Pfizer posted fourth-quarter earnings of 47 cents a share on revenue of $15.1 billion, surpassing the average analyst estimate of 44 cents a share on revenue of $14.4 billion, as emerging market sales strengthened. Shares were up 0.6%. Amazon.com (AMZN) is expected by analysts Tuesday to post fourth-quarter earnings of 27 cents a share on revenue of $22.26 billion. Shares were up roughly a third of a percentage point. VMware (VMW) topped analysts' fourth-quarter revenue and earnings estimates but issued weaker-than-expected guidance. Shares were plunging more than 18%. Seagate (STX) easily exceeded Wall Street's fiscal second-quarter estimates but issued revenue guidance that was below its prior guidance and analysts' views. Shares were tumbling more than 6%. J.C. Penney (JCP) shares were gaining nearly 1.5% as The Associated Press reported that the struggling department store chain is beginning to roll out discounts again. -- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.
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