US stock futures look to be digesting yesterday's gains on Tuesday morning after all major indices jumped around 3% to start the week. World markets are a bit jittery this morning as Slovakia is set to vote on plans to bolster the European Financial Stability Fund. The country's Freedom and Solidarity party is expected to abstain from the vote, leaving the government short of votes needed for approval.
Enthusiasm over hopes for a bank recapitalization plan were the catalyst for yesterday's gains, as investors seem convinced that this time European leaders will be able to get it right. European markets are currently lower this morning due to uncertainty over the Slovak vote, so traders will be paying attention to how the market reacts to that news.
Yesterday's surge came with participation from every sector and nearly every stock in the S&P 500. The one aspect that gives pause is the light holiday volume we saw on yesterday's move. Another strong day or shallow retracement today would give the bulls more credibility on this move.
Earnings season unofficially kicks off tonight with the release of Alcoa (AA) earnings. Later in the week on Thursday we have heavyweights JP Morgan (JPM) and Google (GOOG) set to report. For the last two years earnings season has provided a boost to the market as companies surpass Wall St estimates, even though it has been largely a jobless recovery.
Apple (AAPL) is once again resuming its stature as a market leader and is set to open higher this morning in a down market. News yesterday that the company had pre-sold 1 million iPhone 4S handsets provided a major boost for the stock. The phone had initially been met with disappointed reviews, but it appears the consumer has no such complaints. The previous pre-sale record was 600,000 for the iPhone 4. The interesting question is whether consumers are buying the phone to honor the late Steve Jobs or are they genuinely excited about the new features?
Yesterday the S&P reclaimed its 50-day moving average, a very bullish sign. Bulls will hope to protect the majority of yesterday's gains to maintain the composure of the rally, but given the very overbought nature of this market we could see some type of temporary pullback or pause. We are more than 100 handles off last week's lows in the S&P, just to provide some perspective.
*Disclosures: Scott Redler is long SINA, JPM, XOM, SNDK, AAPL, Short SPY.
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