Stocks were likely to open lower Tuesday as the strengthening dollar chased buyers from the equity markets.
The dollar index edged higher while oil prices slid toward $73 a barrel and gold dropped as well. The dollar held its ground even after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Monday gave strong indications that the central bank would not be raising rates and defending the US currency anytime soon.
Dow futures pointed to a loss of about 60 points at the bell, coming under pressure as well from 3M, which lowered its guidance. Its shares fell aboug 2 percent in premarket trading.
Stocks losses were limted somewhat as FedEx helped sentiment with some bullish guidance.
FedEx said after the bell Monday that earnings for its November quarter will handily beat its previous guidance.
Dow component McDonald's is also among stocks to watch today, as it releases its monthly sales numbers for November this morning at approximately 8 am New York time. Texas Instruments will also garner investor attention late in the day, as it presents its mid-quarter update at about 5 pm.
Looking to the economy, President Obama's speech on jobs and the economy will command most of Wall Street's attention today, given its importance as well as a relatively light economic calendar. The speech is scheduled to take place at 11:15 am, and among the most notable points will be exactly how much in repurposed Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds might be used for job creation.
Elsewhere, ExxonMobil, and its partners have given final approval to a $15 billion liquefied natural gas project in Papua New Guinea, expected to start delivering gas to Asian customers in 2014.
The Wall Street Journal reported that United Airlines is splitting a new order of 50 widebody jets between Boeing and Airbus. The Journal also reported that Seagate Technology, the biggest maker of computer disk drives, is planning to expand into the market for solid-state drives, devices that store data on memory chips.
In addition, the Journal reported that P&G Chairman A.G. Lafley will be stepping down from his post on Jan. 1, 2010.