Stock Market Brakes Ahead of Week’s Earnings Blizzard

U.S. stocks and ETFs stall at resistance levels and before this week’s earnings blizzard.

spy, dia, qqq, iwm, etfsMajor U.S. stock indexes and ETFs finished Tuesday mostly flat in front of this week’s earnings reports and just below recent resistance levels that have so far held firm.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) continued battering the technology sector and technology ETFs (NYSEARCA:QQQ) as the company’s stock declined another 3.15% on the day.  Apple’s loss came on top of a an almost 4% drop on Monday and leaves the stock at $485.92, down approximately 30% from its September high.

The financial sector will headline the earnings reports with JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs due to report Wednesday.

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Economic reports today showed December retail sales climbing 0.5% and beating forecasts while the Empire State Index contracted -7.8, significantly worse than the -2.5 expected and last month’s -7.3…

In the background looms the upcoming debt ceiling debate as Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has warned that the U.S. will possibly hit the ceiling as early as mid-February.

Overseas, the World Bank lowered its 2013 global growth forecast for developed nations to 1.3%, dropping the U.S. forecast to 1.9% and calling for recession in Europe.  Industrial production dropped in Europe in November.

In other major markets, oil (NYSEARCA:USO) lost 0.75% to $93.45/bbl and gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) closed at $1678/oz. for a gain of 0.76%.

Wednesday brings reports on consumer prices, home builders and industrial production, along with earnings reports from JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, US Bancorp, eBay and Kinder Morgan.

Bottom line: U.S. stocks and ETFs remain stalled at significant resistance in front of what is forecast to be a lackluster earnings season.  The fiscal cliff and debt ceiling debates add further uncertainty as we head into the second half of January.

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John Nyaradi is the author of The ETF Investing Premium Newsletter.