Stocks Weaker Ahead of Jobless Claims & Long Bond Auction
In the footsteps of weak global markets, US equity futures are sharply lower this morning, further subtracting from yesterday’s losses.
In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei closed 1.10% lower while Chinese stocks fell 0.94%. Results are similar in Europe where London’s FTSE 100 is currently 1.08% down and France’s CAC 40 is down 1.63%.
“Across-the-board risk aversion was the theme overnight, with global equity markets almost uniformly lower as worries about Greece and some soft data are weighing,” said Benjamin Reitzes from BMO Capital Markets.
90 minutes before the bell, Dow futures are down 42 points to 10,807 and S&P 500 futures are off 5.75 points to 1,173.25.
In the bond market, the 2 year note is +0-01 at 99-29 yielding 1.04% and the 10 year Treasury note is +0-02 at 98-04 yielding 3.855%.
NYMEX oil futures are down 74 cents to $85.15 per barrel, while Spot Gold is down $7.20 to $1,145.80.
Meantime, the US dollar index is up 33 basis points to 81.77, while other currencies are mostly weaker.
Key Events Today:
8:30 — Initial Jobless Claims have fallen in the past three weeks to their lowest levels in about a year-and-a-half. To begin April the report is expected to slide another 3k to 436k. The four-week average in March was 447k, down from 468k in February and 476k in January. Economists point out that a sustained trend below 450k is indicative of job growth in the economy.
“We expect claims to continue their retreat in this week's report,” said economists from Nomura. “The total number of jobless benefit recipients — continuing claims plus the emergency and extended benefit programs — appears to be stable at about 10.7 million (data for the emergency programs are not seasonally adjusted, so it is impossible to calculate a precise figure).”
12:45 — Narayana Kockerlakota, president of the Minneapolis Fed, speaks to the Business Leaders Luncheon in Helena, Montana.
8:30pm — Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks on “Economic Policy: Lessons from History” before the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress' 43rd Annual Alexander Hamilton Awards Dinner
- 1:00 — 30-Year Bonds
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