Stock futures are little changed Tuesday after the prior session's big rally, as investors await U.S. housing market figures and quarterly results from Hewlett-Packard.



NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stock futures were little changed Tuesday after the previous session's big rally, as investors awaited U.S. housing market figures and quarterly results from companies such as Hewlett-Packard(:HPQ).

Investors were also digesting a Moody's downgrade of French debt by a notch, as the rating agency spoke of "multiple structural challenges" facing Europe's second-largest economy including the "gradual, sustained loss of competitiveness," as the predictability of the country's resilience to future euro area shocks diminishes.

The downgrade follows Standard & Poor's removal of the country's AAA rating months earlier.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down 1 point, or 21.96 points below fair value, at 12,737. Futures for the S&P 500 were up less than a point, or 0.79 points below fair value, at 1383. Futures for the Nasdaq were rising 3.25 points, or 5.18 points below fair value, at 2588.

The major U.S. stock averages soared Monday as better-than-expected housing market data gave extra mileage to a rally fueled by optimism over budget talks in Washington.

"After the string of losses during the past couple weeks, yesterday's rally was long overdue," said Joe Bell, senior equity analyst, Schaeffer's Investment Research. "Historically, the week of Thanksgiving has been strong and a continuation of Mondays momentum wouldn't surprise me. We are seeing extremes in some of the sentiment data we track, making the potential upside outweigh the potential downside. When you throw in the fact that December has historically been a strong month, we think the there is good potential for higher price action through the end of 2012."

At 8:30 a.m. EST, the Census Bureau is forecast by economists to say that housing starts fell to an annual rate of 840,000 in October from 872,000, and that building permits declined to a 865,000 annual rate from 894,000.

At 12:15 p.m. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks to the Economic Club of New York following by 20 minutes of questions and answers.

The FTSE 100 in London was down 0.12%, while the DAX in Germany was up 0.23%. Eurozone finance ministers were meeting in Brussels Tuesday to discuss the release of the next tranche of financial aid to Greece.

Japan's Nikkei average settled down 0.12% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index closed down 0.16%.

Gold for December delivery was up 30 cents at $1,734.70 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, while January crude oil contracts were down 20 cents at $89.08.



The benchmark 10-year Treasury was falling 5/32, boosting the yield to 1.632%. The dollar was down 0.02%, according to the U.S. dollar index.

In corporate news, Hewlett-Packard(:HPQ) is expected by analysts Tuesday to post fiscal fourth-quarter profit of $1.14 a share in the October-ended period on revenue of $30.43 billion.

The stock is down more than 48% year to date.

Best Buy(:BBY) reports third-quarter earnings before Tuesday's opening bell and Wall Street is looking for profit of 12 cents a share from the consumer electronics retailer on revenue of $10.73 billion.

The talk of a potential buyout by Best Buy founder Richard Schulze hasn't translated to any appreciation in the stock, which is down more than 40% so far this year, hitting a 52-week low of $13.52 on Friday.

JPMorgan Chase(:JPM) named on Monday Marianne Lake as its next chief financial officer, succeeding Doug Braunstein, who is becoming the bank's vice chairman.

Lake, currently the financial chief of the company's consumer and community banking business, is expected to transition into the CFO role during the first quarter of 2013.

Campbell Soup(:CPB) is expected to post earnings of 85 cents a share in its fiscal first quarter.

H.J. Heinz(:HNZ) is expected by analysts Tuesday to post fiscal second-quarter earnings of 88 cents a share.

Credit Suisse (:CS) said Tuesday it was overhauling its investment banking division and merging its private banking and wealth management arms to cut costs and satisfy regulators.

It was disclosed Monday that hedge fund Tiger Global Management had purchased a stake of 65 million class A shares in Groupon(:GRPN), which represents 9.9% of the daily deal company's outstanding class A stock.

Urban Outfitters (:URBN) on Monday reported an increase in third-quarter earnings but fell short of analysts' estimates by a penny.

Sales rose to $693 million from $610 million a year earlier.

-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.



>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Andrea Tse.

Follow @Commodity_Bull