Wall Street was looking to carry over positive momentum from the previous session Wednesday morning, but early signals were pointing to a lackluster open as earnings results continued to spook investors.
As of 6:15 am ET, the S&P Futures were down 4 points, the NASDAQ Futures were down 6 points, and the Dow Futures were down 44 points.
Stocks rallied on Tuesday after Monday's shellacking as positive reaction to comments from Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner drove the markets higher.
Geithner assured the Congressional Oversight Panel that there is enough money left in the government's $700 billion financial rescue program to stabilize the financial system. Geithner said there is at least $134.4 billion in funds left.
The Treasury Secretary also said that the vast majority of U.S. banks have enough capital and hinted that the credit markets may be thawing following their deep freeze.
Geithner will again take center stage this morning, speaking about the Obama administrations efforts to stop the recession at 9 am ET.
Although Geithner helped reassure investors about banks yesterday, a dismal earnings result from Capital One released after the closing bell threatened to take the wind out the sails of financials, particularly credit card issuers.
Capital One (COF) reported wider than expected loss for first quarter from profit a year ago, due primarily to a decline in revenues and an increase in provision for loan losses and operating expenses. The company expects further increases in U.S. Card charge-off rate through 2009.
The annual shareholders meeting of banking giant Citigroup, Inc. (C) saw its slate of directors being re-elected with four new nominees inducted amid heavy criticism by shareholders for erosion in the company's stock value. Several stockholders held the directors responsible for failing to protect the bank from the losses, according to media reports.
Meanwhile, Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO), owner of Internet's second most popular search engine, said Tuesday after the markets closed that its first quarter profit fell 78% from last year when the company recorded a hefty gain related to Alibaba Group's initial public offering of Alibaba.com. The company also said it expects to reduce its current global workforce by about 5%.
Programmable logic devices manufacturer Altera Corp. (ALTR) said Tuesday that first quarter profit declined from last year, hurt by a 21% drop in sales, partially offset by lower expenses.
AT&T (T), McDonald's (MCD), and Morgan Stanley (MS) are among the companies to report their results before the start of trading on Wednesday. Earnings from Wells Fargo (WFC) and Boeing (BA) are also on tap.
On the economic front, the Mortgage Bankers Association will release its weekly mortgage applications data at 7 a.m. ET on Wednesday, while the Energy Information Administration will unveil its weekly oil inventory report at 10:30 a.m. ET.
Wednesday, Asian markets opened on a bright note but could not sustain their initial gains. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index rose 16 points or 0.18% to 8,727. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index moved down 2.67%. European shares were up fractionally.
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