Markets Tepid Ahead of Multiple Data Points
A slow and steady climb from a poor opening helped US equity markets close on a positive note yesterday, with the S&P 500 gaining 0.63% to a new 11-month high. Ninety minutes before Tuesday’s opening bell, traders are hesitant to build on those gains, yet a bulk of data at 8:30 could quickly change that.
The week’s biggest release, retail sales, will be released alongside the producer price index and the month’s first regional manufacturing index, the Empire State survey. If forecasts are correct, each survey could help investor sentiment. Retail sales should see major gains owing to the cash-for-clunkers program, producer prices should rise due to climbing oil prices (which suggest stabilization in the global economy), and manufacturing in New York should see its first back-to-back positive number since January 2008.
Globally, stock markets have generally been positive today, with modest gains were seen in China’s Shanghai Index (+0.23%) and Japan’s Nikkei (+0.15%), though Hong Kong’s Hang Seng went the other direction (-0.31%). In Europe, London’s FTSE 100 is currently up 0.39% and France’s CAC-40 is trading 0.32% higher, yet Germany’s DAX is down 0.3%.
“Despite a number of encouraging data releases supporting the improving economic landscape around the world, financial markets remain hesitant about the resilience of the recovery,” noted Jennifer Lee at BMO Capital Markets.
In other news, The Wall Street Journal reports that Citigroup is working out the details of a plan to reduce the U.S. government’s 34% stake in the firm. One possibility is a multi-billion dollar stock offering, though Citi is not yet in talks with the government.
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