Stock futures retreated Tuesday after a report showed retail sales unexpectedly dropped -- and dropped sharply in March.
Stocks finished mixed on Mondayas investors worried about General Motors, braced for the earnings onslaught and awaited an Obama announcement.
Retail sales tumbled 1.1 percentlast month, a big disappointment as economists polled by Reuters had expected a 0.3-percent increase. Excluding the volatile auto component, sales fell 0.9 percent.
Meanwhile, producer prices, which were eclipsed by the retail report, dropped 1.2 percent. Excluding food and energy costs, core PPI was flat.
The market will be closely tuned in to a speach by President Barack Obama at 11 am on the government's actions to date to stem the crisis and what is still needed to get the economy back on track. Then, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will answer questions on the financial crisis at 1:30 pm in Atlanta, Georgia.
Goldman Sachs surprised the market late Thursday, reporting earnings a day earlier than expected. The brokerage beat expectationswitharnings of $3.39 a share, or $1.66 billion. But the investment bank's shares fell in after-hours trading after it said it planned to raise $5 billion in a stock offering to pay back TARP funds it received fro mthe government.
The Goldman beat was an encouraging sign, coming on the heels of a better-than-expected forecast from Wells Fargo last week.
Still, if other banks don't follow Goldman's example in repaying TARP funds, that will put a damper on the market, Dodge Dorland, chief investment officer of Landor Capital Management, said.
"We're going through a period right now, where we expect the results to be favorable," Dorland said ahead of JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup's earnings out this week.
JPMorgan is expected to release results on Thursday, while Citigroup and CNBC's parent company General Electric are due to report earnings on Friday.
Shares of the banks were mostly higher premarket, with Citi gaining more than 7 percent.
HSBC also saw a boost from its plans to raise about $4 billion from a sale of three of its biggest buildings. Shares for Europe's largest bank gained about 5 percent premarket.
Among the big companies reporting Tuesday are drug maker Johnson & Johnson , ahead of trading, and chip maker and fellow Dow component Intel , after the bell.
Shares of J&J were 0.9 percent higher ahead of the results.
Shares in General Motors slumped more than 17 percent in Frankfurt amid growing concern that the automaker might file for bankruptcy this week. The car giant's shares were 4 percent higher in pre-market trade in the U.S.
Still to Come:
TUESDAY: Business inventories; Earnings from Intel and CSX
WEDNESDAY: Weekly mortgage applications; NY Fed Empire State survey; CPI; industrial production; weekly crude inventories; NAHB housing index; Fed's beige book; Earnings from Abbott Labs
THURSDAY: Housing starts; weekly jobless claims: Philly Fed survey; Fed's Lockhart, Yellen speak; Earnings from JPMorgan, Harley-Davidson, Nokia, Southwest Air and Google
FRIDAY: CNBC's 20th Anniversary; consumer sentiment; Bernanke speaks; Earnings from Citigroup, GE and Mattel
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