Stock Futures Edge Higher As Traders Wait For Manufacturing Data. Stocks to Watch: PLXT, IPSU, IDTI, SIRI, VECO, PFCB, YGE

Stock FuturesInvestors are cautiously waiting the ISM numbers this morning as they gear up for Friday’s NFP numbers. Essentially the softer the number could be a boost for equities because they will expect the Fed to ride to the rescue via QE3 or another type of stimulus. Currently Dow futures are up 11 points. The Nasdaq and S&P are essentially flat, both up fractionally.

One piece of good news for investors is the fact that most of Europe And Asia is closed today outside of London in observance of May Day. This is making for a quiet trading environment on the global markets.

Consensus expectations for the ISM data slated for release today is for a slight slip to 53.3 from 53.4. Economic data has been disappointing as of late so any big miss could send stocks south. It would also boost the confidence of investors that believe the Fed will ride to the rescue. The only problem is the next FOMC meeting is 6 weeks away.

Earnings season will continue to give the market direction with major companies still to report. Pfizer reported this morning and was a mixed bag. The main concern was that the blue-chip drugmaker slashed its 2012 financial outlook.

Commodities are a mixed bag this morning. Oil prices are slipping slightly, with Nymex crude futures down 7 cents to $104.80. Gold prices are enjoying a bit of a rally on renewed QE hopes. Right now gold futures are up $7.10 to $1671.30. [Read more...]

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