Futures have moved higher since early morning as oil has pulled back. S&P futures are up slightly afater being down earlier, Nasdaq futures are up 4.50 and Dow futures are up 4 points. The economic calendar is quiet today, but later in the week brings varied economic data. Tuesday we'll get a look at Consumer Prices, Industrial Production, Housing Starts and Building Permits and on Thursday comes the Weekly Jobless Claims and Leading Indicators.On the earnings front, a number of retailers still report this week. Today, expect results from Lowe's ( LOW), Service Corp ( SRV) and Sysco ( SYY). After the close results come from Jo-Ann Stores ( JAS). Oil is lower this morning after setting new record highs overnight. The turn came as news from Venezuela seems to suggest that Hugo Chavez is victorious in the recall referendum. While opposition camps are calling the results fraudulent, it is unlikely that the results will change. However, violence was only sporadic and there appears to be no disruption to the energy infrastructure. We'll need to wait for several days to make sure, but it looks like there is a chance there will be little impact on Venezuelan crude production. (Note - I'm not opining at all on the "validity" of the election, simply on the impact of the election on immediate production.)
While Hurricane Charley is now just a tropical rain storm over the Northeast, tropical storm Earl (Danielle is out to sea with little threat to any land) is making its way through the Southern Caribbean. It could hit the Yucatan Peninsula and then head into the Gulf of Mexico in the coming week. This is worth a watch as it could impact energy production and prices by the end of this week. Plenty of retail earnings this week, plus a big report tomorrow from Applied Materials ( AMAT). As bad as tech is beat up a good report from Applied Materials could be a rallying cry. Barron's features Time Warner ( TWX)and is also upbeat on EMC ( EMC)and Kodak ( EK).