Futures Mixed but Steady, Caterpillar’s Results Eyed

U.S. stock futures traded mixed on Monday with all eyes focused on Dow component, Caterpillar Inc.’s (NYSE: CAT) results, often considered as a harbinger on macroeconomic environment while number of economic data releases and The Federal Reserve’s Policy rate meeting later this week will also keep Wall Street investors anxious.

At last check, futures on Dow Jones Industrial Average Index inched up 0.05%; those on NASDAQ 100 slipped 0.04% while futures on S&P 500 Index tacked higher 0.05%.

Last Friday, the S&P 500 Index closed over 1500 level for the first time since December 2007 due to better than expected earnings season. Thus far, around two thirds of companies have topped Wall Street’s expectations, according to Thomson Reuters.

Nonetheless, experts have started to question a rally at a time when risks rising from automatic spending cuts or sequestration still loom over the U.S. economy– in case lawmakers in Washington fail to reach an accord over budget cuts before the March 1 deadline.

Shares of bookseller, Barnes & Noble Inc. (NYSE: BKS) will be under spotlight. According to report carried on the Wall Street Journal on Sunday, the Company is planning to close down a third of its total number of bookstores in next decade in order to bring down overhead costs in the backdrop of dwindling demand for print books with more and more users shifting to digital devices or ‘e-books’.

Ahead of the morning bell, Caterpillar is expected to report quarterly results. Analysts polled by Reuters are expecting earnings of $1.75 a share on revenue of $16.1 billion, down from earnings of $2.32 on revenue of $17.2 billion in the year earlier quarter.

After the closing bell, internet company Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) is scheduled to report quarterly results.

On U.S. economic news front, durable orders data for December is due at 8:30 a.m. EST while the National Association of Realtors’ pending home sales for December is due at 10:00 a.m. EST.

edliston

edliston

Ed Liston is a senior contributing editor at TheStockMarketWatch.com. An active market watcher and investor, Ed guides an independent team of experienced analysts and writes for multiple stock trader publications. He is widely quoted in various financial publications on the Internet. When Ed is not writing about stocks, investing in stocks, talking about stocks, or otherwise doing something stock related, he likes to go sailing and fishing in his yacht.