Only an hour remains before the closing bell will toll. That has many market watchers looking ahead on the calendar of events.
After the close, Adobe Systems (ADBE 32.77, +0.43), Jabil Circuit (JBL 18.90, -0.61), and Discover Financial Services (DFS 22.59, -0.05) post their latest quarterly results.
April contract settled today at $103.85 and May moves to the front contract slot from Wednesday. May trading at $105.09, up $2.00 on the day.
Spot gold holds at $1424.50/oz on the high side of a $1419.80 to $1432.05 range. The precious metal topped out at a new life-time high of $1444.40 March 7 and fell to $$1380.90, before rebounding.
Renewed selling pressure has the stock market back near session lows. Oil prices have also pulled back so that it now trades just below $104 per barrel with a $0.90 per barrel.
The dollar's doldrums continue as it loses ground to competing currencies. Weakness in the greenback has the euro up to $1.421 and the yen at 80.920 yen per dollar.
The euro fell for the first time in three days against the dollar as investors speculated Europe’s leaders will struggle to find a permanent mechanism to the regions debt crisis.
EU finance chiefs settled yesterday on a permanent rescue fund to lend 500 billion euros ($712 billion) as of 2013, while remaining divided over how to get the current stopgap fund to its full capacity. Work thrashing out a solution to the region’s credit woes is due to culminate at a March 24-25 summit of European leaders.
The euro earlier touched a five-month high against the greenback after European Central Bank Executive Board member Gertrude Tumpel-Gugerell and Governing Council member Yves Mersch both said yesterday that “strong vigilance” is necessary to keep a lid on inflation.
New Zealand’s dollar was the best performer against the dollar. The International Monetary Fund said the nation’s central bank may need to raise rates “relatively quickly” once the economy begins to recover.
The pound rose, as inflation data bolstered the case for the Bank of England to increase rates.
Consumer prices rose 4.4% in February from a year earlier, according to the Office for National Statistics, higher than the 4.2% median forecast of economists.
Comments: Euro losses were capped and rate recovers again to the figure. Resistance comes at $1.4240 (Mar 21 high). Above there is a room for a rise up to $1.4280 (Nov 05 high). Support is around $1.4180 (session low). Below losses may widen to $1.4140 (Mar 21 low). Stronger support comes at channel line from Mar 11 on $1.4000 today.
EUR/USD holds $1.4191, but the single currency remains on the defensive and near morning lows at $1.4179. Bids in place to $1.4160/50. Below there, talk suggests stop risk below $1.4150.
May WTI Nymex Crude recovered strongly from earlier lows of $102.11 to a $103.75 high on the day. A break through yesterday's high of $104.27 targets the $104.55 high of March 17. Crude trades around $103.70.
European shares reversed slim gains and turned negative on Tuesday afternoon in choppy trading, with traders citing the ongoing Libyan conflict, rising tensions elsewhere in the region and prospects for an ECB rate rise next month.
The major equity averages have slipped after hugging the neutral line for the first few minutes of trade. The action comes as the S&P 500 continues to contend with resistance in the 1300 zone.
Retailers are showing relative strength, though. As a group, retailers are up 0.4%, according to the SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT 48.90, +0.10). A strong quarterly report from apparel and accessories retailer Express (EXPR 18.25, +0.85) has helped support positive sentiment in that space.
In-line earnings from Walgreen (WAG 38.60, -3.37) have made the stock one of this morning's worst performers. Its weakness has imbued shares of CVS (CVS 33.28, -0.45) and Rite Aid (RAD 1.06, -0.01).
EUR/USD $1.4250, $1.4200, $1.4100
USD/JPY Y81.50, Y81.00, Y80.85, Y80.50, Y80.00
AUD/USD $1.0120, $1.0100
AUD/JPY Y80.00, 82.65
Offers: Y81.30/40, Y81.50/60, Y82.00, Y83.00
Bids: Y80.85, Y80.50, Y80.25, Y80.15/10
U.S. stocks were headed for a flat open Tuesday as investors took a step back from the previous session's rally. They also considered a more than 4% boost in Tokyo's Nikkei index as the nuclear situation in Japan continued to show signs of improvement.
U.S. stocks rallied for a third straight session Monday, as Japan made progress in cooling its nuclear reactors and investors cheered AT&T's (T) $39 billion deal to acquire T-Mobile.
The Dow finished Monday's session above the 12,000-point mark for the first time since the Japanese earthquake on March 11.
Oil for April delivery slipped 63 cents, or 0.6%, to $101.70 a barrel. May delivery will become the front-month contract after the close of trade, and it's already the most active contract, falling 62 cents, or 0.6%, to $102.47
Economy: Investors don't have much to look at in the way of economic data Tuesday, with the Federal Housing Finance Agency's home price index the only report on deck.
Companies: After the close, software maker Adobe Systems (ADBE) and credit card company Discover (DIS) are on tap to report results.
Late Monday, news reports revealed that Apple had sued Amazon in California federal court. In the complaint, Apple asked a judge to block Amazon from using the term "Appstore." Three years ago, Apple was granted a trademark on its own "App Store."
Gold futures for April delivery fell $1.10, or 0.1%, to $1,425.30 an ounce.
The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury was unchanged, holding the yield at 3.32%.
Jan retail sales ex-autos 0.0% m/m
The euro reached a five-month high against the dollar amid speculation the European Central Bank will raise interest rates next month and as stocks rose, lessening the appeal of safe-haven assets.
European Central Bank Executive Board member Gertrude Tumpel-Gugerell and Governing Council member Yves Mersch both said yesterday that “strong vigilance” is necessary to keep a lid on inflation.
“It’s a risk-on and monetary tightening story,” said Jeremy Stretch, executive director of foreign-exchange strategy at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in London. “Euro-dollar is a beneficiary of that and looks like it’s going to continue to trade higher.”
The pound surged to the highest level in more than a year against the dollar as U.K. inflation accelerated more than economists forecast, renewing speculation the Bank of England will raise interest rates.
Sterling also appreciated versus the euro, while gilt yields jumped to the highest in a week. Consumer prices rose 4.4 percent in February from a year earlier, according to the Office for National Statistics, higher than the 4.2 percent median forecast of economists.
Climb extends through earlier reported stops at $1.0120 to a high of $1.0128 and working through some dotted retail supply up to $1.0150. Some demand also seen in aussie-yen as cross breaks through Y82.00 to a high of Y82.13
Stops triggered on the break of $1.6380 and takes rate on to offers placed at $1.6400, a break above to open a move on toward $1.6420 ahead of stronger interest at 2010 high $1.6450/60.
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