Ahead of the Bell: Dow futures are trading up 66 points and S&P futures are trading up 7 points as the equity market looks to bounce back following two consecutive days of losses triggered by minutes from the Federal Reserve's January meeting released earlier in the week, which suggested stimulus measures may end earlier than anticipated. Market sentiment was lifted this morning on better than expected data out of Germany and Hewlett Packard’s Q4 results, which exceeded expectations. The German Ifo business climate indicator for February rose to 107.4, its best one-month rise in more than two years.
On the economic calendar today, there are no major reports due out.
The dollar is up against the euro and down against the Japanese yen and British pound. Gold is trading at $1,580. Crude oil is currently trading at $93 a barrel.
The President of the Week for Arts Foundation, David Polak, starts the trading day by sounding the gong.
This year the Week for Arts Foundation is already 10 years dedicated to promoting art in general and enhancing the reputation and appreciation of visual artists and their works of art and designs in particular, plus maintaining the interests of visual artists, art mediators and art lovers. The Week for Arts Foundation organizes the elections Artist of the Year and Gallery of the Year. In addition the Week for Arts Foundation publishes art books, including the Artists Yearbook and art fairs, including the ADAF (English Annual Art Fair).
Stocks ended lower as investors eyed less than stellar economic reports and continued concern over the Federal Reserve’s possible shortened timetable for the bond buying program. Global shares slid and the euro fell to a six-week low against the U.S. Dollar.
On the economic front, initial jobless claims jumped 20,000 to a seasonally adjusted 362,000. However, February 16th was a four day work week which increases the impact of seasonal adjustments.
The Consumer Price Index remained unchanged from December. This was mostly due to weak gasoline and food prices.
Monthly growth for the nation's manufacturing sector is solid but may be slowing very slightly based on the PMI flash index which is at 55.2 for February vs. 55.8 for the final January reading.
A shortage of homes on the market is holding down sales of existing homes which did rise slightly in January, up 0.4%.
English: The Dettifoss in Iceland on 31 Jul 1972. Picture taken and uploaded by Roger McLassus. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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