Stocks were steady Tuesday as oil prices held above $70 a barrel and Corporate America prepared to unleash a torrent of quarterly earnings reports.
Index futures recently showed the
trading a point above fair value, while the Nasdaq 100 was set for a flat open. The 10-year Treasury bond was up 3/32 in price to yield 4.99%, while the dollar edged up against the yen and euro.
Crude futures continued to firm after Monday's record close of $70.40 a barrel, driven up by concerns about the nuclear-research impasse with Iran. After touching a new intraday high of $70.85 a barrel in overnight Asia trade, the May contract was recently up 15 cents to $70.55.
Other commodities also remained sky high, with gold pushing to a fresh 25-year high of $615.52 an ounce in Asian trading and silver holding well above $13. The rally in oil and gold helped sink U.S. stocks on Monday, sending both the
down by 0.6%.
March 28 meeting this afternoon. Economists expect the March produce price index to rise 0.4% and peg the core number at up 0.2%.
Tuesday is also a huge day for earnings news, with reports due out from giants like
Among early reporters,
first-quarter net rose 21% from a year ago, while adjusted earnings of 68 cents a share beat estimates by 3 cents. The company added a percentage point to its 2006 growth forecast.
earnings rose fivefold in the first quarter due to a tax benefit, while sales rose 1% to $793.3 million, missing estimates. The company said Barbie sales fell 8% in the latest quarter.
To view David Peltier's video take on today's premarket action, click here
posted a 21% rise in first-quarter earnings to $352.8 million, or $1.11 a share, a penny shy of estimates. The homebuilder guided its second quarter and full year in line.
Overseas markets were mixed, with London's FTSE 100 recently up 0.4% to 6052 and Germany's Xetra DAX losing 0.7% to 5878. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei rose 1.4% overnight to 17,233, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 1.3% to 16,638.
Away from earnings, Warren Buffett's
struck a deal to buy sweatshirt maker
for $18 a share. The price represents a 35% premium to Russell's Monday close.
In early research moves, JPMorgan upgraded
to neutral, while Friedman Billings cut
to underperform on concerns about computer market growth.