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Premarket: Stocks head for lower opening, despite several earnings beats Add to ...

U.S. stock futures are modestly lower this morning and overseas markets mixed, as traders take in another batch of corporate earnings and await the latest U.S. housing and consumer confidence readings. Most major commodities are a little higher.

It should translate into a slightly lower open for the TSX, but again today, the Toronto stock market is unlikely to see drastic moves. The earnings season has been positive - with 75 per cent of S&P 500 companies that reported results so far beating profit expectations. Yet the recent run-up in U.S. stock values to near all-time highs has market participants worried about a pullback. In total, 25 stocks in the S&P 500 index are scheduled to report earnings today.

More Related to this Story

This week will also see several Canadian firms reporting results; today, Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. has released its latest quarter.

The S&P 500 snapped an eight-day winning streak on Monday, a signal that some investors are thinking the market is getting a little frothy, at least in the short term. Some may be staying on the sidelines until the Fed releases its latest monetary policy statement on Wednesday and the U.S. releases January job figures on Friday. 

Now, here's a closer look at what's going on this morning and what's to come:

MARKETS:

Equities:

U.S. futures: S&P 500 -0.3 per cent; Dow -0.2 per cent; Nasdaq -0.3 per cent

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index -0.07 per cent

Shanghai composite index +0.53 per cent

Japan's Nikkei +0.39 per cent

London’s FTSE 100 -0.05 per cent

Germany’s DAX -0.24 per cent

France's CAC 40 -0.26 per cent

Commodities:

WTI (Nymex Mar) +0.03 per cent at $96.47 (U.S.) a barrel

Gold (Comex Apr) +0.57 per cent at $1,664.70 (U.S.) an ounce

Copper (Comex Mar) +0.12 per cent at $3.67 (U.S.) a pound

Currencies:

Canadian dollar down 0.0001, or 0.01 per cent, at $0.9939 (U.S.)

ECONOMIC INDICATORS TO WATCH:

The S&P Case-Shiller U.S. home price index for November showed a 5.5 per cent year-over-year rise in the home prices of 20 key cities, matching economists' expectations.

(10 a.m. ET) The U.S. Conference Board issues its consumer confidence index. Economists expect a reading of 64.

STOCKS TO WATCH:

Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. reported adjusted earnings of $1.28 per share, up from $1.11 a year earlier, and in line with analysts' estimates.

Ford Motor Co. reported fourth-quarter earnings per share of 31 cents, beating Street forecasts of 25 cents. Revenues also were ahead of forecasts. Shares are up 1.7 per cent in the premarket.

Pfizer Inc. reported fourth-quarter earnings per share of 47 cents, 3 cents better than forecasts, with revenues also ahead of the Street view. It also forecast profit for the year higher than analysts' predictions. Shares are up 0.4 per cent in the premarket.

Yahoo Inc. late Monday reported a drop in fourth-quarter earnings that nevertheless beat analysts' forecasts and sales were a bit better than expected. Shares are up 3.4 per cent in the premarket.

Research In Motion Ltd. shares are up 1 per cent in the premarket, just a day ahead of the unveiling of the BlackBerry 10. Shares dropped nearly 8 per cent on Monday.

D.R. Horton Inc, the biggest U.S. home builder, said net income more than doubled due to higher selling prices, and reported a 39 per cent jump in orders.

Harley-Davidson Inc reported fourth-quarter net income slightly below Wall Street estimates.

Eli Lilly And Co. said adjusted fourth-quarter earnings were 85 cents per share, beating Street forecasts of 78 cents.

Other earnings today include: Amazon.com Inc.; Corning Inc.; International Paper Co.; Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV; Lenovo Group Inc.; LG Electronics Inc.; Metro Inc.; Tyco International Ltd.; United States Steel Corp.; Valero Energy Corp.

THIS MORNING'S TOP INVESTING READS ON THE WEB:

The surprising (and untold) genius of Steve Jobs.

Some reasons to buy Apple now.

What could cure Apple's faltering stock? A fatter dividend yield.

Why the market may be overdoing its push upward.

Four charts that tell us a structural shift in risk allocation is afoot.

The S&P 500 has made a new all-time high if you look at the index on an equal-weighted basis.

Could Nokia be the next Research In Motion Ltd. that may offer 200 per cent returns off recent lows?

The perfect storm could be heading toward the debt market.

________

The premarket report is constantly updated to reflect the latest news developments and market moves. For instant headlines on breaking economic and corporate news in the premarket, follow Darcy Keith on Twitter at @eyeonequities

Follow on Twitter: @eyeonequities

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