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Gold futures, whose low was at the session open, rose 1% on the session. Other metals – Silver (+2.4%) and Platinum (+1.4%) – experienced larger gains.
Live Cattle futures have based following a precipitous decline based on Mad Cow news released early this week. For the session, Live Cattle futures were down slightly to $118.35.
This afternoon and into tomorrow, we are waiting on EPS from Amazon (AMZN), Wynn (WYNN), and Zynga (ZNGA). Also, tomorrow morning, at 8:30 a.m. ET, the release of Q1 GDP will dominate traders minds. For us to break through 1,400 on the S&P futures, we are looking for a good number. If not, we would likely see a pull-back before the next leg higher.
In earnings news, Whirpool (WHR) beat estimates this morning when it reported, but is down 5% on the session. During the conference call, WHR executives warned that they are not expecting consumer confidence to improve and will see growth through price increases, not increased sales. Dow Chemical (DOW) is also sharply lower after earnings, dropping 3.2% after reporting net income declined 30% year-over-year.
Natural Gas is up 10% this week and 2.4% today after inventory figures at 10:30 a.m. ET. Nat Gas is trading at its highest level since early April at $2.111. Crude oil is trading higher on the session as well, holding prices near $104.50.
Also today, Treasury futures are higher. The 30-year bond prices are up 0.4% (yield of 3.12%), and 10-year note futures are higher by 0.25% (yield of 1.95%). The CBOE Volatility Index lost 1.8% today, and has dropped sharply over the past week. The VIX is at 16.52 at present.
A host of companies report earnings tonight, including Zynga (ZNGA), Wynn (WYNN), and Amazon (AMZN). WYNN is up 3% today, while ZNGA has gained nearly 2%. AMZN is flat on the session.
Gold futures are higher this morning after bouncing off support at $1,625 yesterday. Prices gained 0.5% to $1,651.10 per ounce. Silver futures are also higher, rising 1.3% to $30.76. Yields on the 30-year bonds are down slightly to 3.12%, while the 5-year note is yielding 1.96%. Natural Gas, which caught a bid in the afternoon yesterday, is down slightly to $2.059. Today, inventory figures will be released at 10:30 a.m. ET.
At 8:30 a.m. ET, the Labor Department will release figures for Initial Jobless Claims. Weekly Claims are expected to fall 11,000 to 375,000. At 10 a.m., data on Pending Home Sales will be released as well. Data will continue to play a large role in the long-term macroeconomic picture, which ultimately will point to where (or if) the Fed moves with interest rates.
With Bernanke “prepared to do more,” as he mentioned yesterday and earnings on the whole suprising to the upside, ultimately equity markets will be a beneficiary.
– Citrix Systems (CTXS) upgraded to Buy from Neutral: Mizuho
– Citrix Systems (CTXS) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform: FBR Capital
– Tempur-Pedic (TPX) upgraded to Long-term Buy from Neutral: Hilliard Lyons
– Apple (AAPL) price target to $740 from $660: Hilliard Lyons
Crude Oil futures, which were much higher earlier in the session, fell to lows following the weekly inventory data at 10:30 a.m. ET. Oil inventories rose 4 million barrels last week, double the expected rate. Elsewhere in the oil patch, Natural Gas futures are higher, up 1.4% on the session.
Gold futures are down 0.3%, while Treasury futures are flat on the session. The 30-year bond yields 3.13%, and the 10-year note yields 1.97%. A 5-year note yields 0.85%. Treasury futures are likely to see increased volatility later at Bernanke’s presser.
What will the B-man say? Our best guess is a whole lotta nothing, which would be good for markets.
Of course, that huge gain is leading NASDAQ futures higher – up 2% at the moment. S&P and DJIA futures are experiencing more modest gains, up 0.7% and 0.3%, respectively. Markets are likely to hold this pattern ahead of the Federal Reserve announcement and press conference later today.
In other futures markets, Crude Oil is seeing a bullish day ahead of weekly inventories at 10:30 a.m. ET. Crude futures are currently up 0.9%. Natural Gas is also higher, trading at $2.000 and up 1.3% on the session.
Treasury futures are slightly lower. The 30-year bond futures dropped 0.3% and the 10-year note futures are down 0.2%. The US$ is modestly lower as well. EUR/USD is holding above figure 1.32, while other European currencies gained as well. USD/JPY is unchanged at 81.25.
Here’s a run-down of companies that reported since yesterday’s close, where EPS was in relation to expectations, and where the stocks are trading premarket:
– Boeing (BA): $1.11 vs. $0.95; up 2.5%
– Caterpillar (CAT): $2.37 vs. $2.15; down 1.1%
– Credit Suisse (CS): $0.03 vs. -$0.18; down 3.3%
– Panara Bread (PNRA): $1.40 vs. $1.35; up 3.2%
– Baidu (BIDU): $0.85 vs. $0.85; down 6%