Wall Street was set for a slightly lower open on Tuesday, a day after Alcoa posted in-line earnings but lower-than-expected revenues as the Dow closed above 11,000 for the first time in almost 19 months.
The Alcoa earnings seem fine but revenues were light, and this will certainly be an earnings period where there is continued focus on revenues, said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer of Solaris Asset Management in Bedford Hills, New York.
Investors are looking for signs of revenue growth to show that the economic rebound is real and is generating real demand.
Commerce Department data showed a jump in imports of consumer goods widened the U.S. trade gap in February, but the closely watched bilateral deficit with China was its lowest in nearly a year.
The Labor Department said import prices rose in March on strong petroleum prices, while underlying import cost pressures were more subdued as the dollar strengthened.
S&P 500 futures dipped 0.9 points and were slightly below fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures lost 14 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures fell 2 points.
After the closing bell on Tuesday, strong earnings are expected from Intel Corp
Oil futures dropped for a fifth straight session to below $84 a barrel, almost erasing April gains, as a forecasted increase in U.S. crude stocks highlighted rising supplies and weak demand in the United States.
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)