Stock futures are down this morning, pointing to a possible lower start for stocks in this week when the Federal Reserve will meet amidst earnings season.
So far, earnings have mostly met analysts' expectation, but many companies are more cautious about their projections, indicating the economy is still moderating and could be slowing at a faster rate than anticipated.
Not helping boost confidence in the economy was Caterpillar, Inc. (NYSE:CAT) that reported disappointing quarterly profits on Friday. Since the heavy-machinery and equipment maker is viewed by some as an indicator for the broader economy, CAT's results were taken as a warning the economy's growth is slowing.
In addition, this week is also the FOMC meeting in which the Federal Reserve decide on monetary policy. The meeting, Tuesday and Wednesday, will conclude with a statement by Federal Reserve Chair on Wednesday at 2:15 p.m. ET. The market does not expect the Fed to change rates.
Oil prices continue to fall as traders bet on OPEC's willingness to go through with its decision to cut oil production by 4%.
With no economic data today, investors will fully focus on earnings as three more Dow components report today in addition to other companies:
Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F) already reported before the bell, posting a third-quarter loss of $5.8 billion. Overall it met expectations. It is trading down 0.25% in pre-market trading to $7.99 (at 7:35 a.m.).
AT&T, Inc. (NYSE: T) is expected to earn 58 cents a share on revenue of $21.3 billion. Should report before the market opens.
American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) is expected to report earnings of $938.9 million, or 76 cents a share, on revenue of $6.8 billion. Should report during the trading session.
Other companies reporting today are:
- Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN) is likely to post higher third-quarter results of over $1 billion, estimated earnings of 97 cents. Should report after the market closes.
- Texas Instruments, Inc. (NYSE: TXN) is expected to report earnings of $0.45 a share after the market closes.
- Other companies reporting today: First Data (FDC), Haliburton Company (HAL), Hasbro (HAS), Kimberly Clark (KMB), Rockwell Automation (ROK) and Xerox Corp (XRX).
In other corporate news, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) begins a two day analyst meeting in New York Monday.
Bonds were flat on Friday, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury remain at 4.79%, same as late Thursday. Treasury prices were lower this morning, lifting the yield on the 10-year note to 4.82%.
Overseas, Asian markets closed mostly lower except for the Nikkei average hat closed at its highest level since May. European markets started the day higher, but are now mixed to lower.
Futures are negative in early morning trade (8:00 a.m.), pointing to a lower start for stocks.
Here's a look at some key Blogging Stocks:
Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) last traded at $462.90 in pre-market trading, up from Friday's close of $459.67. Could AOL compete with YouTube now that it will be offering movies and television shows from Paramount Pictures?
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) last traded at $28.40 in pre-market trading, down from Friday's close of $28.43. Business 2.0 examines how the new Web-browsers might have better applications than desktop resident ones.
Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) last traded at $23.17 in pre-market trading, down from Friday's close of $23.21. Yahoo Japan Corp., of which Yahoo!, Inc. holds a third, reported quarterly profit that rose 22% after attracting more stores to its online auction and shopping sites.