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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%
– DeVry (DV) price target to $39 from $48: Oppenheimer
– Capella Education (CPLA) price target to $39 from $47: Oppenheimer
Baidu (BIDU), however, had the opposite reaction following its earnings report today. The company warned that second quarter revenue will be below analysts’ expectations, sending the stock immediately into the dog house. Shares fell 10% after-hours, following a drop of 2.7% during today’s session.
Aflac (AFL) also reported earnings today, beating expectations and leading shares to rise nearly 5%. That stock was up 1.5% today.
In total, we should expect NASDAQ futures to move higher, as AAPL is heavily weighted in that index. Further, the rising tide will likely life all boats, leading to gains in DJIA and S&P futures by morning. From there, the typical correlations should play – EUR/USD higher, Crude Oil up, and Gold higher as well. But, I suppose Europe could always play its part to cut into this momentum.