Wall Street was in a post-holiday funk Monday morning in New York as concerns about upcoming earnings results from a number of key companies drove stock futures into the red.
As of 6:15 am ET, the Dow Futures were down 60 points, the S&P Futures were down 7 points, and the NASDAQ Futures were down 8 points.
Stocks finished an abbreviated week on a high note Thursday. Stocks have posted gains for five consecutive weeks, clawing back some of their brutal losses from the earlier in the year.
Express Scripts, Inc., one of North America's largest pharmacy benefits management, or PBM, companies, Monday, announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire health insurer WellPoint Inc.'s NextRx subsidiaries for $4.675 billion. Express Scripts also said it will provide services to WellPoint for 10 years following deal close, which is expected in the second half of 2009.
Surface transportation company JB Hunt Transport Services Inc. (JBHT: News ) would report first-quarter results on April 13. Wall Street analysts have a consensus earnings estimate of $0.22 per share on revenues of $791.43 million for the quarter, lower than the previous year's performance of $0.28 per share and revenues of $878 million.
Apparel retailer Talbots Inc. (TLB: News ) is likely to report fourth-quarter results today, with analysts projecting revenues of $508.17 million. In the year-ago period, the company incurred a loss of $3.23 per share on net sales of $587.4 million.
Later in the week, earnings season gets into full swing with results from Citigroup (C), JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Goldman Sachs (GS). Also, tech giants Intel (INTC) and Google (GOOG), and consumer bellwether Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) will impact market sentiment.
The price of oil was down more than a dollar in early electronic dealing, moving back toward the $50 a barrel mark.
Tokyo's Nikkei finished modestly lower overnight, while European market were closed.
While Monday's economic calendar is bereft of first-tier economic data as market participants trickle back to work following the Easter holiday, it will be a very busy week on the economic front.
The Commerce Department's retail sales report for March, the housing starts report for March, the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment report for April, the Federal Reserve's industrial production report for March, and the April manufacturing surveys of the New York Federal Reserve and the Philadelphia Federal Reserve are the key economic reports traders could turn their focus on.
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