The three major indices are edging higher this morning as investors wait for the release of the durable goods numbers. Investors also continue to digest Bernanke’s speech from earlier in the week in which he left the door wide open for future stimulus. Dow futures are currently up 25 points to 13,149. Nasdaq 100 and S&P 500 futures are adding 5 and 2 points respectively.
Durable goods orders came in with an increase of 2.2% for February. Expectations were for a 2.9% increase, but this is the 4th increase in 5 months.
Bernanke’s speech on Monday warned on labor markets. He cited weak demand as evidence of his belief that labor gains may not be sustainable. The Fed’s remedy to this would be further stimulus through monetary easing policies, or QE3.
Some analysts say that as we near the end of the quarter the trading can become erratic as major firms put window dressing on their portfolios. They want to be able to say they are holding the best performing stocks.
Commodities continue to be volatile this morning. Nymex crude futures are down $1.2 per barrel to $106.11. Gold futures are following suit, with gold prices down over $11 to $1,673.70. [Read more...]