Current Futures: Dow +26.00, S&P +3.90, NASDAQ +4.50

Asian equity markets closed the session lower, even though the major indexes recovered some ground by the end of the session. European shares and U.S. futures are currently trading mixed, preparing for important economic releases.  

A number of important earnings reports are scheduled for today, the busiest day since the earnings season started. The following companies are expected to announce quarterly reports today: AMD, Bank of New York Mellon, Black Rock, Caterpillar Inc, Delta Air Lines, DuPont, Lockheed, Merck & Co, SanDisk, TD Ameritrade Holdings, The Coca-Cola Company, New York Times and U.S. Bancorp. These reports will certainly move the market, influencing the S&P futures and the dollar index.

“Over the last few trading sessions, the market has turned negative on bad news about the financials. First, rumors emerged about the stress-test results, but they were never confirmed. Shortly afterward, the news that Bank of America set aside additional provisions to weather credit losses caused investors to push the panic button. The financial sector recorded the biggest decline in the last U.S. and Asian spot sessions,” Trade Team notes.

“Today, the market may wait for the earnings reports from Bank of New York Mellon and Treasury Secretary Geithner’s speech before choosing a direction to trade in. A report showed that U.S. taxpayers lost $900 million on Citigroup toxic assets through January 1. The losses might be even bigger after this date, but the data was not published,” Trade Team said. “This might disturb some of the Congressional members, making them hesitant to supply additional help for the financial system.”

In the mean time, a German newspaper has reported that the German Finance Minister is preparing a $1.1 trillion package, which would help German banks follow the bad-banks model. However, some banks have already declined to take part in the bad-bank program, as presented in the newspaper.

Overnight, the Nikkei declined 213.42points (2.39%) to 8,711.33. The Australian S&P/Asx declined 91.60 points (2.43%) to 3,677.40. The German Dax added 45.45 points (1.01%) to 4,531.75, while the U.K. Ftse gained 21.04 points (0.53%) to 4,011.90

Crude oil for May delivery was recently trading at $45.45 per barrel, down by $0.90.

Gold for May delivery was recently trading up by $3.10 to $890.70.