By RTT News, October 15, 2013, 08:59:00 AM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - After turning higher over the course of the previous session, stocks may show a lack of direction in early trading on Tuesday. The major index futures are pointing to a roughly flat open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by just 1 point.
Continued uncertainty about the ongoing fiscal crisis in Washington is likely to contribute to choppy trading early in the session.
Traders are likely to keep a close eye on any news out of the Senate, where the leaders are said to be making progress toward a deal to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling.
President Barack Obama had been scheduled to meet with the Congressional leadership from both parties on Monday, but the meeting was later postponed to allow the Senate leaders time to continue making progress toward a solution.
While the meeting has thus far not been rescheduled, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., have both made some optimistic comments regarding their negotiations.
Appearing on the Senate floor last night, Reid said "tremendous progress" has been made but called for patience and suggested that today "will be a bright day."
McConnell added that has had "very constructive exchanges" with Reid and expressed optimism that they will reach an agreement that will be acceptable to both sides.
Even if the Senate leaders manage to reach an agreement, however, it remains to be seen if the deal will be acceptable to Republicans in the House.
On the economic front, the New York Federal Reserve recently released a report showing that business conditions for New York manufacturers were little changed in the month of October.
The report showed that the New York Fed's general business conditions index fell to 1.5 in October from 6.3 in September. While a positive reading indicates an increase in regional manufacturing activity, economists had expected the index to climb to 7.0.
Among individual stocks, shares of Coca-Cola (KO) are moving higher in pre-market trading after the beverage giant reported third quarter earnings growth that matched analyst estimates.
Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ ) could also see early strength after reporting better than expected third quarter earnings and raising its full-year earnings guidance.
On the other hand, financial services giant Citigroup ( C ) could see early weakness after reporting weaker than expected third quarter results.
Stocks showed a substantial turnaround over the course of the trading day on Monday after coming under pressure early in the session. The markets benefited from renewed optimism about lawmakers reaching an agreement to end the latest fiscal crisis.
The major averages moved roughly sideways going into the close, hovering firmly in positive territory. The Dow rose 64.15 points or 0.4 percent to 15,301.26, the Nasdaq advanced 23.40 points or 0.6 percent to 3,815.27 and the S&P 500 climbed 6.94 points or 0.4 percent to 1,710.14.
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