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Futures Point Higher as Americans Head to the Polls

John Darsie

Morning Call video with Pete Renzulli: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77kaZ88Syx4

Stock futures point to a higher open on Wall Street Tuesday as Americans head to the polls. US stocks are tracking gains in European markets this morning as hope grows that the European debt crisis is starting to subside. The big headlines today, though, will center on the Presidential election results. By all indications, it is a very tight race, with President Barack Obama appearing to have a small lead over Republican challenger Mitt Romney in key swing states. With the potential for a close race, the most important thing is that come tonight, we have a President elect and not a protracted squabble like we saw with Bush vs. Gore in 2000.

Stocks have essentially been in a holding pattern in the days leading up to the election, unable to break definitely to the upside or downside. Strong economic data late last week led to a higher open on Friday, but that gap up was sold off hard. Yesterday, stocks recovered from some early selling to finish modestly higher. Today, it will be interesting to see how the market responds to the first headlines about voting. Some analysts believe the re-election of President Obama will make negotiating the fiscal cliff more difficult, and thus weigh on the market a bit. We will let the price action do the talking before making directional bets.

Apple (AAPL), as usual, will be firmly on traders' radars as it tries to recover from a steep sell-off over the last month. The stock lost support of its 200-day moving average on Friday in a sharp decline, but yesterday found some footing after announcing it had sold three million fourth generation iPads in three days. The stock finished 1.4% higher, but still has some work to do to repair its somewhat broken chart. Right now AAPL is more of a short-term trading vehicle as opposed to a swing trading position, but we will let you know when that changes in our Off the Charts newsletter.

While the bulk of major earnings are now in the rear view, there are a couple of reports to track this morning. AOL (AOL) is 3% higher pre-market after topping Wall St expectations with its earnings report, mainly due to a better-than-expected surge in advertising revenue. CVS Pharmacy (CVS) also reported this morning and is almost 2% higher after beating consensus estimates. To round out a strong pre-market batch of earnings, Office Depot (ODP) is 7.5% higher ahead of the open after handily topping its EPS expectations. While not bellwether companies, the trio of strong reports only adds to the bullish bias this morning.

Stay tuned to the T3Live Virtual Trading Floor(R) all day today as we bring you real-time updates about how to trade the election results. The market seems to have been waiting for resolution of who our next leader will be until making its next leg higher or lower, so we will be on alert for buy and sell signals out of this range.

Also, if you are looking to learn how to trade using technical analysis and other indicators, make sure to sign up for T3Live's Free Online Home Study Program.

*DISCLOSURES: Pete Renzulli is short SPY, HD.