Stocks set for tepid start

By CNNMoney.com staff


NEW YORK(CNNMoney.com) -- U.S. stocks were set for a flat open Wednesday, as investors prepared to tiptoe back into the market after the previous session's losses.

The Dow Jones industrial average, Nasdaq-100 and S&P-500 futures were close to the breakeven point.

Has the recent cold snap cost you money?
  • Yes, spending more to keep warm
  • No more than usual
  • It's not cold here

Futures measure current index values against their perceived future performance and offer an indication of how markets may open when trading begins.

U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday, as worries about the strength of fourth-quarter earnings weighed on sentiment.

"We have financial markets that have been roiling and bubbling, but we have the real fundamentals coming to light this quarter that are showing a different story," said Derek Hoffman, chief executive and founder of Wall St. Cheat Sheet in North Carolina.

He said that recent events in China -- where the government could be raising interest rates "sooner than expected" and where Google might be pulling out -- have also rattled investors.

"If Google's engines aren't roiling forward, the markets aren't moving forward, as well," said Hoffman.

The markets are also haunted by the specter of fees that may be imposed on the country's biggest financial institutions, as the government attempts to recoup losses from the Troubled Asset Relief Program. President Obama is expected to announce more on this plan Thursday.

Economy: Investors will look to the Federal Reserve's Beige Book on economic conditions, which comes out at 2 p.m. ET. The Treasury budget is also due out at that time.

Banks: A commission appointed by Congress to investigate the financial crisis will question the chief executives of Goldman Sachs (GS, Fortune 500), Morgan Stanley (MS, Fortune 500), J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM, Fortune 500) and Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500) on Wednesday. Panel chairman Philip Angelides said he wants to learn how banks were considered "too big to fail" leading up to the 2008 financial collapse.

Companies: Stocks to watch include Google (GOOG, Fortune 500). On Tuesday the search giant threatened to shut down its China operations, citing censorship rules and cyber attacks. Google said that it was one of at least 20 companies that had been victimized by a "highly sophisticated and targeted attack" originating in China in December to gain access of e-mail accounts of human rights activists.

World markets: Asian stocks tumbled, with Japan's Nikkei shedding about 1.3%. Major European indexes were mixed in midday trading.

Money and oil: The dollar fell against most of the major international currencies, except for the yen.

The price of oil slipped 74 cents a barrel to $80.05.

The price of gold rose $6.80 an ounce to $1,136.20.

As for Treasurys, the price of the 10-year note fell, raising the yield to 3.74%. To top of page

Just the hot list include
Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.80%3.88%
15 yr fixed3.20%3.23%
5/1 ARM3.84%3.88%
30 yr refi3.82%3.93%
15 yr refi3.20%3.23%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 32,627.97 -234.33 -0.71%
Nasdaq 13,215.24 99.07 0.76%
S&P 500 3,913.10 -2.36 -0.06%
Treasuries 1.73 0.00 0.12%
Data as of 6:29am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Ford Motor Co 8.29 0.05 0.61%
Advanced Micro Devic... 54.59 0.70 1.30%
Cisco Systems Inc 47.49 -2.44 -4.89%
General Electric Co 13.00 -0.16 -1.22%
Kraft Heinz Co 27.84 -2.20 -7.32%
Data as of 2:44pm ET

Sections

Bankrupt toy retailer tells bankruptcy court it is looking at possibly reviving the Toys 'R' Us and Babies 'R' Us brands. More

Land O'Lakes CEO Beth Ford charts her career path, from her first job to becoming the first openly gay CEO at a Fortune 500 company in an interview with CNN's Boss Files. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.