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Profit Taking May Lead To Early Weakness On Wall Street

4/3/2012 9:00 AM ET

After turning higher over the course of the previous session, stocks are likely to move back to the downside in early trading on Tuesday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a modestly lower open, with the Dow futures down by 32 points.

Profit taking is likely to contribute to any early weakness on Wall Street, with some traders likely looking to cash in on Monday's gains, which lifted the Dow to a new four-year closing high. The S&P 500 also reached its best closing level since May of 2008.

Nonetheless, trading activity may be somewhat subdued ahead of the release of the minutes of the March Federal Reserve meeting, which are scheduled to be released at 2 pm ET.

The minutes of the meeting are likely to be closely scrutinized for indications regarding the likelihood of further quantitative easing by the central bank.

Ahead of the release of the minutes, trading could be impacted by the Commerce Department's monthly report on factory orders. Economists expect orders to increase by 1.5 percent in February following a 1.0 percent drop in January.

Traders are also likely to keep a close eye on the release of monthly sales results from the nation's major auto manufacturers.

Chrysler recently reported a 34 percent year-over-year jump in auto sales in March, while Ford (F) executive vice president Mark Fields told CNBC that the auto giant's sales rose by 5 percent.

by RTT Staff Writer

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