Wall Street was heading for a decline at the open Tuesday as traders moved cautiously ahead of vital clues on the health of the American consumer.
futures were losing 5 points to 1400 and were more than 4 points under fair value. Futures on the Nasdaq 100 were down 4.5 points to 1994 and were more than 7 points behind fair value.
In the prior session, the broad indices all lifted as crude oil eased and a few pieces of heartening news emerged from the technology space. All told, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
jumped 130 points to 12,876, and the
rose 15 points at 1404. The tech-heavy
outperformed the rest, spiking 43 points to 2488.
A bit later, April retail numbers from the Commerce Department are due. The report should show the extent to which rising oil prices are affecting consumer spending and, in turn, the economy as a whole. The report will be out at 8:30 a.m. EDT.
At the same time, the Labor Department will release data on import and export prices for last month. The April business-inventory report is scheduled for 10 a.m. EDT from the Commerce Department.
On the corporate side, Dow component
, the world's biggest retailer, dropped 2.7% in premarket trading despite saying its first-quarter profit grew by 6.9% to a better-than-expected $3.02 billion, or 76 cents a share. The decline came as its second-quarter outlook disappointed investors.
confirmed that it will acquire
Electronic Data Systems
. H-P said it will pay $13.9 billion in cash, or $25 a share, nearly a billion higher than the top end of the range cited by news reports yesterday. H-P shares slipped 1.8% early as EDS -- which surged in the prior session -- climbed another 0.9%.
Among commodities, crude oil slipped 48 cents to $123.75 a barrel, and gold futures fell $6.30 to $878.60 an ounce. The U.S. dollar firmed by 0.4% against the euro at $1.5480, but surrendered 0.1% to the yen at 103.77.
Treasury prices were climbing. The 10-year note was up 9/32 in price to yield 3.76%, and the 30-year bond added 18/32 in price, yielding 4.50%.
Foreign markets were turning in a mixed performance. In Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 ramped up 1.5% overnight, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index leaped 2%. As for Europe, Germany's Xetra Dax and the Paris Cac were each losing 0.2%, and London's FTSE 100 gave up 0.9%.