RTTNews - Following a notable pullback in the previous session, stocks are poised for a lackluster open on Wednesday, as traders look for direction ahead of the start of earnings season. The major index futures are currently just below the unchanged mark, with Dow futures down by 6 points.
Dow component Alcoa (AA) will kick off earnings season when it reports it second quarter results after the close of trading, with the aluminum producer expected to incur a loss of $0.37 per share on revenues of $3.94 billion. In the year-ago period, the company earned $0.66 per share on revenues of $7.62 billion.
Traders may also look to the Energy Information Administration's oil inventory report this morning while also keeping an eye on the Treasury Department's auction of ten-year notes this afternoon amid concern over interest rates.
The meeting of the G-8 leaders in Italy and their assessment of global economic conditions is also likely to be on the radar of traders.
In recent earnings news, restaurant operator Ruby Tuesday (RT) said Tuesday after the markets closed that its fourth quarter profit rose 3.7 percent from last year, as lower operating costs and expenses helped offset a 7.1 percent decline in revenue.
Today, the Pepsi Bottling Group (PBG) reported adjusted second quarter net income of $172 million or $0.78 per share, compared to $174 million or $0.78 per share in the year-ago quarter. Analysts expected the firm to report earnings of $0.73 per share for the quarter.
Family Dollar Stores (FDO) reported third-quarter net income of $87.72 million or $0.62 per share, compared to $64.67 million or $0.46 per share last year. Wall Street analysts expected the company to report earnings of $0.59 per share, while net sales of $1.84 billion came in line with estimates.
In other news, internet search provider Google (GOOG) revealed that it is developing the Google Chrome Operating System in a bid to challenge the Windows Operating System of Microsoft (MSFT).
Ericsson (ERIC) said that it signed framework agreements on 2G/3G mobile communication equipment and related services for 2009 with two major Chinese telecom operators, China Mobile and China Unicom, valued at $1 billion and $0.7 billion respectively.
Stock finished sharply lower on Tuesday, as traders did some profit taking on the day amid a lack of significant economic data to drive trading. The Dow fell 161 points to 8,164, the Nasdaq closed down 41 points at 1,746, while the S&P 500 dropped 18 points to 881.
Crude oil futures are moving modestly lower in early commodities trading, falling by $0.90 to $62.03 a barrel after ending the previous session down $1.12 at $62.93 a barrel. The price of gold is plunging, moving down by $9.30 to $919.80 an ounce.
On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is little changed against the major European currencies, sitting at $1.3892 against the euro while holding at $1.6072 versus the pound. Meanwhile, the dollar is also seeing little movement against the yen, posting a quote of 94.27 yen.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region ended Wednesday's session lower. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed down by 2.4 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index dipped by 0.8 percent on the day.
The major European markets are also under pressure, with the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index down by 0.2 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is also falling, posting a loss of 0.3 percent.
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