Pre-market trading is being buoyed by a Bernanke speech in which he suggested that more economic stimulus could create better labor conditions. He did raise concerns over whether the current pace of the labor recovery could be maintained in the face of weak demand, both domestically and internationally. Dow futures are currently up 78 points to 13,109. Nasdaq 100 futures are adding 19 points to 2,748. S&P 500 futures are rounding out the morning’s pre-market gains, up 8.75 to 1,402.75.
On the economic calendar, pending home sales are slated to be released at 10am EST. This will be another gauge as to if the housing market is actually recovering. Other news is the ongoing Federal Reserve Chief Ben Bernanke’s speech which began at 8am EST.
Overseas, Asian markets traded mostly flat. Europe on the whole traded higher. The outlier there was Spain which is taking a loss thanks to some election news. The ruling party won a regional election but failed to secure an outright majority. This may make instituting needed reforms difficult. Spain is suffering from crippling unemployment and a growing sovereign debt issue.
Commodities are following the broader market higher this morning. Gold prices are up over $15 to $1,677 per ounce. Gold bulls seem the be encouraged every time Bernanke utters the word stimulus.
Oil prices are also higher this morning. Nymex crude futures are up 32 cents to over $107 per barrel. The energy prices will start to weigh on the market when consumer confidence numbers are released tomorrow. [Read more...]