May 16 2013 | 8:15 AM

Ahead of the Bell: Dow futures are trading up 6 points and S&P futures are trading up 2 points on better than expected Japanese growth data. GDP for the third largest economy in the world showed the economy grew at an annualizedpace of 3.5% compared with forecasts of 2.8%, a sign the fiscal and monetary policy changes implemented by the new Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe are beginning to impact growth. The government has pumped massive amounts of stimulus into the economy, which has raised consumer and business demand. A spate of downbeat corporate earnings results from the insurance sector, including Zurich Financial is dragging on European stocks, although shares in London were lifted into positive territory by the miners.



  • On the economic calendar today, April consumer prices will be released before the market opens and a 0.3% decrease is expected, vs. a 0.2% fall the month prior....
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May 15 2013 | 8:31 AM

Ahead of the Bell: Dow futures are trading down 6 points and S&P futures are trading down 2 points after the Dow and S&P 500 hit another all-time high in the previous trading session. The euro zone economy contracted for a sixth straight quarter in a row, despite positive first quarter growth from Germany, which managed to eke out a 0.1% gain in the first quarter after contracting sharply at the end of 2012, while Italy and France sunk further into recession. The ECB is expected to continue its accommodative monetary policy. Austerity measures have been put off for now, even though Germany believes the Euro bloc bloated debt crisis is dragging on the region's growth.



  • On the economic calendar today, April producer price index will be released before the market opens and a 0.7% decrease is expected, compared to a 0.6% increase the month before.  The empire state manufacturing survey will be out before the...
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May 14 2013 | 8:15 AM

Ahead of the Bell: Dow futures are trading up 9 points and S&P futures are trading up 2 points. Investors remain cautious despite improving retail sales data from the US and mixed industrial output form the euro zone.  Euro zone factory output rose in March, driven by higher energy and industrial production; however, the overall outlook remains mixed.  German investor sentiment edged up in May, signs the strongest economy in Europe is weathering the uneven economic data.  According to reports, many economists are cutting their forecast for China after several months of disappointing data.



  • On the economic calendar today, import and export prices for April will be out before the market opens, -0.1% is forecasted compared with -0.4% for the month prior. 

  • The dollar is up against the major currencies.  Gold is trading at $1,428. Crude oil is currently trading at $95 a barrel....
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May 13 2013 | 8:21 AM

Ahead of the Bell: Dow futures are trading down 33 points and S&P futures are trading down 4 points.  US equity futures are trading down this morning ahead of an economic report which is expected to show American retail sales fell for a second consecutive month in April, hurt by slowing demand for automobiles.  Investor sentiment is also being dragged down by Chinese data which indicated that fixed-asset investment unexpectedly decelerated last month, while industrial output trailed estimates.  Corporate earnings will also be in focus as Q1 earnings season winds down.



  • On the economic calendar today, April retail sales data will be released before the market opens and a 0.3% drop is expected, following a 0.4% fall the month prior. March business inventories data is due out after the market opens and a 0.3% increase is expected, vs. a 0.1% rise the month before.  

  •  The dollar...
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