Stocks are gaining traction this morning after Citigroup reported its earnings and ahead of retails sales. Futures had been under pressure after a choppy session in Europe. Currently Dow futures are up 24 points to 12,812. The Nasdaq and S&P futures are adding 3 points and a point respectively.
Last week a trifecta of global economic concerns caused the major domestic indices to have their worst week of 2012. Worries over China and Europe spilled over into the psyche of traders causing the markets to whipsaw all over the place.
March retail sales, which release today, shifts the focus back domestically. Industrial production numbers are set to come out tomorrow. Consensus views are for a 2.5% increase in GDP with a possible 2.7% print.
Gas prices on the retail sales numbers will weigh heavily on the minds of traders. Soaring gas prices almost always negatively impact economic growth. They will be on the lookout to see what effect they are having so far on the consumer.
Commodities are mostly heading south this morning. Nymex crude futures are off 47 cents to $102.37. Gold prices are also taking a hit this morning, down $12.30 to $1,647 per ounce. [Read more...]