Stock Futures Hint at Mixed Open
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stock futures were signaling a mixed start to Tuesday's session with little in the way of corporate news to drive early trading action.
The major U.S. equity indices have fallen in the past four sessions, getting the calendar second quarter off to a negative start. The unofficial start of earnings season comes after Tuesday's closing bell with Alcoa(AA) due to report its quarterly results.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were climbing 10 points, or 9.6 points below fair value, at 12,860. Futures for the S&P 500 were up 0.9 points, or 2 points below fair value, at 1376. Futures for the Nasdaq were up 7.5 points, or 0.2 points below fair value, at 2736.
"I think there's a lot of cash to be put to work," said Dave Kavanagh, president at Grant Park Fund. "If you start to get earnings disappointments, not everyone will flee the market, but it leaves the market ripe for a pullback."
Stocks fell sharply Monday as disappointing news on job creation in March gave investors pause ahead of the first-quarter reporting season. The Dow posted its first finish below 13,000 since March 12 after the government announced that nonfarm payrolls increased 120,000 in March, far short of the 200,000 gain that economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters had been expecting. The average workweek for private-sector employees slipped by 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours in March.
Alcoa(AA) , traditionally the first Dow component to report during earnings season, is scheduled to post its results after the markets close. The aluminum maker is expected to post a loss of 4 cents a share on revenue of $5.77 billion. Alcoa is struggling with lower pricing and the impact of Europe's sovereign debt woes on demand, leading to cutbacks in production.