Markets Flat Ahead of Geithner Testimony
Two hours before the opening bell stock futures are pointing at a flat open, though the 8:30 release of Jobless Claims could offer some direction. More importantly, markets will be still be digesting news from the Obama administration’s plans to revamp the regulation system, as Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner testifies to the Senate Banking Committee at 9:00 am. A second appearance at the House Services Financial Committee is slated for 1:30.
“For the most part, Democrats will express concern that the plan doesn’t go far enough to prevent another financial crisis, while the Republicans will express worries about the Fed’s independence and the government’s role in protecting consumers,” predicted Sal Guatieri from BMO Capital Markets.
Key Releases Today:
8:30 â€• Initial Jobless Claims have exceeded 600k for 19 straight weeks. Last week’s figure dropped to 601k and some analysts believe this could be the week that claims dip below 600k, but the consensus view is that lay-offs from Chrysler will drive the figure up to 610k.
Any figure above 400k is considered recessionary, so the labor market is still months away from reaching recovery.
10:00 â€• The Leading Indicators Index moved up 1% in April, its first rise in 7 months, and analysts look for another 1% gain in May. Leading the expected improvement is the rise in stock prices.
10:00 â€• Manufacturing conditions in the Philly Fed Survey have improved for two months but remain in deep contraction at -22.6. Economists look for improvement to -15.0 in June.
“Make no mistake, manufacturing is still contracting, just at a slower rate than earlier this year,” BMO’s Guatieri said.
The Philly index is the second regional survey to come out in June. Earlier this week, the NY Fed’s Empire State survey indicated that conditions deteriorated compared to May. If this index moves in the same direction, it would support a fourth straight day of selling in the S&P 500, as traders will anticipate further regional losses in output.
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