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Stocks Set for Flat Open

Oil prices and bond yields are higher on another major earnings day.

Stocks meandered lower early Tuesday as an uptick in oil prices and bond yields kept buyers anxious on a mammoth day for corporate earnings.

Index futures recently showed the

S&P 500

trading about half a point below fair value, while the Nasdaq 100 was set for a 3-point decline. The 10-year Treasury bond was down 4/32 in price to yield 5%, while the dollar held its ground after falling to multimonth lows Monday against the yen and euro.

Oil firmed after falling nearly $2 on Monday as profit-takers waded in after last week's 5% rally. In electronic Nymex trading, June crude was recently up 52 cents to $73.85 a barrel. Gold also rose, adding $5.70 to $629.60.

A weakening dollar and mixed earnings news sent stocks to a moderately lower close on Monday, with the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

slipping 0.1% from a six-year high to 11,336. The S&P 500 lost 0.3% to 1308 while the

Nasdaq Composite

lost 0.4% to 2333.

The Dow remains up more than 600 points, or 5.8%, in the year to date, while the S&P 500 has risen 60 points, or 4.8%. The Nasdaq, despite steady swoons in super-components






, is up 128 points, or 5.8%.

Tuesday will see another torrent of earnings news, with quarterly updates coming from the likes of



Boyd Gaming



Ingram Micro



Already reporting is the

Chicago Merc


, which posted first-quarter earnings of $2.61 a share, missing estimates by 2 cents. At $263.4 million, revenue was up 23% from a year ago but about $1.5 million shy of forecasts.



first-quarter earnings rose 37% from a year ago to $118 million, or $1.70 a share, wiping out the Thomson First Call estimate of $1.50 a share. Sales rose 10% to $3.5 billion, also trouncing forecasts.



said first-quarter earnings fell 15% from a year ago, reflecting refinery shutdowns and a higher tax bill. The oil supermajor earned $5.6 billion, down from $6.6 billion, although sales rose 23% to $67.1 billion.

To view David Peltier's video take on today's premarket action, click here


Late Monday,



posted first-quarter profit of $4.4 million, or 7 cents a share, and said sales jumped 47% from a year ago to $224.1 million. Both numbers beat estimates and the stock gained 5% in after-hours trading.

Away from earnings,

Sun Microsystems


made headlines with news that Scott McNealy, the company's cofounder and one of the highest-profile tech managers in the country, will step down. Jonathan Schwartz, Sun's president, will take over the top job.

Sun also reported first-quarter results Monday, saying its third-quarter loss widened to $217 million, or 6 cents a share, from $28 million, or 1 cent a share, a year ago. The loss matched estimates. On the top line, Sun's sales jumped 21% from a year ago, missing the Thomson First Call consensus estimate of $3.21 billion.

Two economic reports will be released Tuesday at 10 a.m. EDT. The Conference Board is expected to say its consumer confidence index ticked down to 106 this month from 107.2, while the National Association of Retailers will probably report a decline in existing home sales to an annualized 6.7 million for March.