Feb 27 2014 | 9:19 AM

Ahead of the Bell: Dow futures are trading down 31 points and S&P futures are trading down 4 points. The focus will be on global central banks today. Fed Chair, Janet Yellen heads to Capitol Hill to testify before congress. Yellen's original appearance was cancelled because of the huge snow storm that shutdown federal buildings in the Washington DC area. The hot topics are expected to be productivity, employment, and the pace of the central bank’s bond-buying program.  According to a Reuters poll, China's factory activity likely expanded only slightly in February, dropping to an eight-month low, showing that the slowdown continues. Investors are optimistic Beijing will be more accommodative with its monetary policy.  Households and corporate lending fell again in January in the euro zone and money supply growth remained subdued, adding to pressure on the European Central Bank to take action next week to support the economy.  The...

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Feb 26 2014 | 9:58 AM

Ahead of the Bell: Dow futures are trading up 13 points and S&P futures are trading up 2 points. Investors are cautiously trading as concerns over unclear monetary policy moves by the People's Bank of China has kept investors on edge, while euro zone economic data continues to show improvements. Market participants are speculating that the recent batch of soft US economic data might prompt the Federal Reserve to be extra cautious as it looks to dial back its asset purchase program. The Chinese yuan stabilized a little after a sharp fall in the previous trading session but the central bank continued its gradual tightening.  A survey showed consumer moral rose to its highest level in seven years in Germany following upbeat 4 quarter GDP data yesterday, although domestic demand continues to be a concern. 

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Feb 25 2014 | 9:39 AM

Ahead of the Bell: Dow futures are trading down 20 points and S&P futures are trading down 4 points.  Global equity markets are up over prospects about the US and Europe, which helped offset a drop in the Chinese yuan after Beijing took steps to stamp out speculators. A flurry of merger and acquisition activity in the US on Monday, signaled growing confidence among the business community which helped whether another round of soft economic data. Germany's fourth quarter GDP data confirmed quarterly growth of 0.4% led by exports. Market participants are concerned that China in is efforts to address its shadow banking system might tighten interest rates as the nation's central bank unwind yuan positions in banks and assets funds.

  • On the economic calendar today, the FHFA House Price Index for December (+0.3% expected) and the S&P Case-Shiller HPI for November (+0.6...
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Feb 24 2014 | 12:07 PM

The schedule for the week of February 24th includes:

Monday: Chicago Fed National Activity Index, Dallas Fed Mfg Survey, 3-Month Bill Auction, 6-Month Bill Auction, and Thomas Hoenig speaks

Tuesday: ICSC-Goldman Store Sales, FHFA House Price Index, S&P Case-Shiller HPI, Consumer Confidence, Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index, 4-Week Bill Auction, and 2-Yr Note Auction, and Daniel Tarullo speaks

Wednesday: MBA Purchase Applications, New Home Sales, 2-Yr FRN Auction, 5-Yr Note Auction, Eric Rosengren and Sandra Pianalto speak

Thursday: Durable Goods Orders, Jobless Claims, Kansas City Fed Mfg, 3-Month Bill Announcement, 6-Month Bill Announcement, 52-Week Bill Announcement, 7-Yr Note Auction, Fed Balance Sheet, Dennis Lockhart and Janet Yellen speak

Friday: GDP, Chicago PMI, Consumer Sentiment, Pending Home Sales Index, Jeremy Stein and Charles...

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