Investors eye housing data

@CNNMoneyInvest April 24, 2012: 9:17 AM ET
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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- U.S. stocks were poised for a mixed open Tuesday as investors turn their attention to two reports on housing and await Apple's earnings after the close.

The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) was poised for a slightly higher open, while the Nasdaq (COMP) futures were slightly lower and the S&P 500 (SPX) futures were pointed to little change. Stock futures indicate the possible direction of the markets when they open at 9:30 a.m. ET.

Futures moved lower after the S&P/Case-Shiller showed another decline in home prices for February just before the market open. The U.S. Census will release new-home sales at 10 a.m. ET.

One of the busiest weeks for corporate results continues, as several heavyweights will weigh-in with first-quarter numbers. Dow components AT&T (T, Fortune 500), 3M (MMM, Fortune 500) and United Technologies (UTX, Fortune 500) released generally better than expected earnings before the opening bell. Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500), the world's most valuable company, is set to release earnings after the market closes.

The week began with a downward push on stocks, driven by European political uncertainty and signs of a slowdown in the Chinese economy. All three major U.S. indexes ended lower Monday.

World markets: Some of the political worries in Europe cooled Tuesday, a day after the Dutch prime minister resigned due to the collapse of his governing coalition. Despite his resignation, an auction of nearly €2 billion in bonds by the Netherlands went well Tuesday, sending yields of the nation's benchmark bonds slightly lower.

Spain, whose finances have also been a growing concern in recent weeks, also had a successful bond auction of nearly €2 billion. Its yields fell as well.

European stocks rose slightly in midday trading. Britain's FTSE 100 (UKX) ticked up 0.4%, while the DAX (DAX) in Germany gained 0.7%, while France's CAC 40 (CAC40) added 1.2%.

Asian markets ended mixed. The Shanghai Composite (SHCOMP) and Hong Kong's Hang Seng (HSI) ended slightly above breakeven, while Japan's Nikkei (N225) slid 0.8%.

Economy: Home prices hit yet another post-bubble low, according to the February reading of the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index. Prices were down 0.8% from January and 3.5% from a year earlier. The data came in slightly lower than the 3.4% decline expected by economists surveyed by Briefing.com.

New-home sales for March are expected to come in at an annual pace of 318,000, up slightly from the prior month, according to economists.

The March Consumer Confidence Index, which speaks to the public's degree of optimism, is expected to come in at 69.5, down slightly from last month.

Companies: AT&T reported first-quarter earnings of 57 cents a share, down slightly from a year earlier but in line with the consensus forecast of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. Revenue was weaker than expected at $31.2 billion. Shares rose 1.6% in premarket trading.

United Technologies posted a better-than-forecast rise in earnings to $1.31 a share. 3M posted a rise in earnings to $1.59 a share, beating forecasts of $1.49 a share that would have been unchanged from year earlier.

Apple posts earnings after the market close, with analysts expecting per- share income to jump 57% to $10.04 on revenue of $36.8 billion.

Netflix's (NFLX) troubles continued late Monday, when it reported a first quarter loss. Shares fell 15% in after-hours trading on weak outlook for the current quarter.

Currencies and commodities: The dollar lost ground against the euro, the British pound and the Japanese yen.

Oil for June delivery slid 97 cents to $103.14 a barrel.

Gold futures for June rebounded, gaining $5.20 to $1,637.80 an ounce.

Bonds: The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury rose, pushing the yield down slightly to 1.93%.  To top of page

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,987.51 -61.49 -0.36%
Nasdaq 4,567.60 -24.21 -0.53%
S&P 500 1,985.54 -11.91 -0.60%
Treasuries 2.61 0.08 3.28%
Data as of 10:16pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.79 0.22 1.33%
Yahoo! Inc 42.88 1.62 3.93%
Apple Inc 101.66 0.23 0.23%
eBay Inc 52.19 1.51 2.98%
Microsoft Corp 46.70 -0.30 -0.65%
Data as of Sep 12
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15 yr fixed3.27%3.18%
5/1 ARM3.38%3.32%
30 yr refi4.18%4.20%
15 yr refi3.26%3.16%
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