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Minyanville's T3 Morning Market Call: Stocks Edge Higher Ahead of Earnings Season


US stock futures point to a slightly higher open on Wall Street Monday as another earnings season gets set to kick off.

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US stock futures point to a slightly higher open on Wall Street Monday as another earnings season gets set to kick off. Aluminum giant Alcoa (AA), whose announcement generally marks the beginning of earnings season, will report after the bell today. Investors will hope earnings data provides another source of optimism for a market still jittery over the European sovereign debt crisis.

Stocks finished lower on Friday despite another strong US economic data point. The US economy added 200,000 non-farm payrolls and the unemployment rate fell to 8.5%, a major boost to President Obama's resume as election season looms. A tug-of-war continues between US data and the European crisis, where bond yields continue to rise. Italy and Spain have key auctions this week that will paint a picture of market confidence.

It's hard to see a way out from here for Europe, and many believe that an abandonment of the euro currency is inevitable. Investors will be watching a few key debt auctions in Europe closely this week. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy will meet in Berlin this week to show solidarity ahead of another euro summit in late January.

Netflix (NFLX) is up another 3% in the pre-market, building on big gains from last week. The stock has been hammered over the past few months but gained nearly 25% last week. Today's bounce is due to news that the firm is rolling out new offerings in the U.K.

Lululemon (LULU) stock is expected to be under the microscope today after news late Friday that its founder would step down as Chief Innovation and Branding Officer. The stock initially traded sharply lower on the news, but is only slight lower this morning.

Apple (AAPL) continues its recent surge, up 0.6% in the pre-market. It appears investors are optimistic about a strong earnings quarter from Apple, which missed estimates last quarter for the first time in 12 quarters.

Technically we are still in a constructive tape, something we haven't seen for months. There have been some nice opportunities both from a swing buy and hold approach and from an active trader's perspective. There is a nice floor in the S&P's in the 1262-1276; the question is, can we get some momentum for a close above 1280-1284 to give us a move to the October 2011 highs of 1292?

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Scott Redler is long JPM, NFLX, HAUP, AAPL, SPY, GS, OIH, COH, QQQ, CSCO.
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