×

Three ways stocks could build on Monday's gains

  • Dozens of earnings are expected Tuesday and could give stocks a boost
  • Economic data includes closely-watched consumer confidence
  • Traders are hoping to see oil stabilize and start to turn around

After Monday's stunning stock market rally, traders will be looking for something to keep the momentum going Tuesday.

Here are three things that could have an impact.

Earnings

First, there are dozens of earnings on Tuesday, including Dow components like Caterpillar, Dupont, 3M, and McDonald's. There are also reports from Coca-Cola, Eli Lily, AT&T, Chipotle and dozens of others.

According to Thomson Reuters, 77 percent of the S&P 500 companies that have reported already have beaten earnings per share estimates. Profit growth for the quarter is also tracking at about 11 percent, the best quarter since 2011.

"You could make a case for 90 percent of the earnings being important. That's the problem with a busy day and a busy week. In and of themselves, they're all important. It definitely shifts our focus away from Friday's budget deadline and Wednesday's announcement out of the White House on its version of tax reform," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities. He said earnings could also keep the focus off of geopolitical worries, like North Korea, unless there is some new action Tuesday.

Confidence

Another big event for markets Tuesday is economic data, particularly consumer confidence. Confidence has been strong, and analysts look at it as a leading indicator for stocks. Economists, however expect it to slip slightly to 122 from 125. Confidence is also a 'soft indicator' and those have been performing better than some of the 'hard' data, like retail sales.

"I think confidence of all kinds has an out-sized impact right now," said Don Townswick, director of equities strategy at Conning.

Confidence is released at 10 a.m. ET. There is also S&P Case Shiller home prices and FHFA home prices, both at 9 a.m., and new home sales at 10 a.m.

Oil Reversal?

If oil switches gears, it could be a positive. Crude rose in the post-French election risk rally but then did an about face Monday. If West Texas Intermediate could rise back above $50 and hold, it could be a positive for energy stocks and the market. WTI futures were down 39 cents Monday at $49.23 per barrel.

API data on oil inventories is released after the bell, ahead of Wednesday's government data on supply.

"Oil's got to catch a bid at some point," said Hogan. "Making new highs [in stocks] and having oil go down is not something we're going to see every day."

Analysts believe the S&P has a chance of getting back to its highs and moving forward, now that the French election first round is over. The S&P 500 closed at 2374, up 25 points, and 26 points away from its high of 2400.

Watch: Tom Lee's worried about stocks