Wall Street faced a lower open Tuesday, but the damage was mitigated by a powerful earnings report from Hewlett-Packard, which bucked the economic trend this season by posting a bright outlook.
Futures were well off their morning lows following the Hewlett-Packard report, which especially lifted tech stocks and actually pointed to a flat open for the Nasdaq. H-P shares gained more than 13 percent in premarket trading.
The report helped lessen fears that the might out the five-and-a-half-year closing low of 8175.77 hit on Oct. 27.
Futures retreated a bit following a government report showing that producer prices fell by a record 2.8 percent in October but core inflation, which strips out volatile food and energy prices, actually rose 0.4 percent in the month.
Analysts were divided as to whether a retest would be followed by gains or a further leg downward.
"We will succeed this time and we're going to be seeing some positive divergence as we come back to where we were previously," Dodge Dorland, chief investment officer at Landor Capital Mgmt, told CNBC when looking at the futures.
But in another view, the Dow could sink as low as 6,700 before the year is out, in another accelerated down move similar to October's slump, Roelof van den Akker, chartist from ING Wholesale Banking, said on CNBC.
And the move downward, to where the S&P 500 breaches 815 or so, would to be painful for many.
"If it were to take out that bottom that could actually bring in some buying, but the trip down there would be devastating while they're hauling all these people before Congress," Kevin Ferry, of Cronus Futures Management, said on CNBC. "You might want to avert your eyes."