Futures Slip on Earnings, Home Price Data

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stock futures pointed to a lower open Tuesday, pulling back after the previous session's rally, as the market digested some slightly disappointing earnings reports and weak home price data.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down by 34 points, or 36 points below fair value, at 11,896. Futures for the S&P 500 were lower by 5 points, or 4 points below fair value, at 1,283, and Nasdaq futures were off by 11 points, or 12 points below fair value.

Stocks rallied Monday, leaving the Dow just under the 12,000 mark as a weaker dollar lifted basic materials and Intel's ( INTC) dividend and buyback announcement boosted tech stocks.

Members of the Federal Reserve's policymaking arm convene today for a two-day meeting that will conclude with a rate decision statement on Wednesday afternoon. Although no one is anticipating a change in the key interest rate, the market is eager to see whether encouraging economic data will be reflected in the Committee's statement. Market-watchers will also be interested in what the Committee says regarding future plans for its quantitative easing program.

In earnings news, Verizon ( VZ) missed analysts' estimates by a penny with adjusted earnings of 54 cents a share, and said sales dropped 2.6% to $26.4 billion, falling short of expectations for revenue of $26.5 billion. Shares were down 1.2% at $34.81 in premarket trading.

Shares of Baker Hughes ( BHI) were trading 4.6% higher at $61.16 ahead of Tuesday's opening bell after the oilfield servicer posted adjusted earnings of 84 cents a share, topping Wall Street's estimates by 19 cents.

Coach ( COH) saw its stock slump 3.1% to $51.70 despite reporting better-than-expected earnings of $1 a share on sales of $1.26 billion. Analysts had projected earnings of 97 cents a share on sales of $1.21 billion.

Shares of Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ) met profit forecasts with adjusted earnings of $1.03 a share but fell short of revenue expectations with fourth-quarter sales of $15.6 billion, compared with the $16 billion that analysts had projected. Shares were down by 1.9% at $61.06 during the early session.

Shares of 3M ( MMM) were off by 0.4% at $90 despite topping profit expectations with earnings of $1.28 a share and reporting better-than-expected sales of $6.7 billion.

DuPont ( DD) reported adjusted earnings of 50 cents a share in the fourth quarter, blowing past analysts' forecast for earnings of 32 cents, and boosted 2011 earnings guidance to between $3.45 and $3.75 a share, from between $3.30 and $3.60 a share. The stock was up by 0.4% at $49.10 in early trading.

Travelers ( TRV) was up by 0.2% at $55.75 ahead of Tuesday's opening bell after the company said its fourth-quarter profit fell to $1.95 a share from $2.36 a share, a year ago, and revenue slipped 2% to $6.332 billion . Analysts had been expecting earnings of $1.67 a share on revenue of $5.27 billion.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng slipped 0.05% while Japan's Nikkei rose 1.2%. London's FTSE was losing 0.4% while the DAX in Frankfurt was ahead by 0.2%.

The S&P's Case-Shiller 20-city home price index declined 1.6% in November, after dipping by 0.84% in October. The level just missed the drop of 1.5% that economists expected, according to Briefing.com.

An hour later, the market will get another round of November housing price data with the Federal Housing Finance Agency's home price index. In October, the index rose 0.7%.

Also at 10 a.m., the Conference Board will release its January report on consumer confidence. According to Briefing.com, economists are expecting the reading to rise to 53.5, from 52.5 in December.
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President Barack Obama is expected to focus on the economy and improving job creation when he gives his State of the Union address at 9 p.m.

In commodity markets, the March crude oil contract was trading $1.19 lower at $86.68 a barrel. The February gold contract was down by $15.80 to trade at $1,328.70 an ounce.

The dollar strengthened against a basket of currencies with the dollar index up by 0.3%. The benchmark 10-year Treasury rose 11/32, diluting the yield to 3.362%.

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--Written by Melinda Peer in New York.

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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