Asia generally falls; Europe gains on Fed's outlook for U.S. economy; U.S. futures signal higher opening ahead of jobless claims and other data.
- Asian stock indexes outside of Japan generally declined as investors await today's central bank meetings and slew of data. Mainland Chinese shares led the losses with a decline of 0.98 percent.
- European stock indexes advance on the Fed's positive outlook for the U.S. economy and ahead of today's central bank meetings. Look for movements in the Vanguard MSCI Europe (NYSEArca: VGK) and in the SPDR Euro Stoxx 50 ETFs (NYSEArca: FEZ).
- The European Central Bank (ECB) is expected to increase interest rates from 0.75 to 1.0 percent.
- U.S. stock futures are pointing higher, but the market seems cautious ahead of ECB and BOE meetings later in the day. Investors also await jobless claims and trade balance data.
- Weekly jobless claims ending March 2 are expected to increase to 355,000 from 344,000 the week prior.
- Trade balance for January is expected at $43 billion, up from $38.5 billion in the prior month.
- Nonfarm productivity for the fourth quarter is expected to show a 1.6 percent decline from the previous level.
All commodities news is as of 7:05 a.m. ET.
Gold and Silver Declined
- Gold retreated 0.06 percent, or $0.97, to $1583. Look for congruent movements in the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEArca: GLD).
- Silver dropped 0.14 percent, or $0.05, to $29. Check for similar changes in the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEArca: SLV).
WTI Gained and Brent Oil Fell
- The April contract for WTI crude oil rose 0.33 percent, or $0.30, to $90.70 per barrel. Expect corresponding movements in the United States Oil Fund (NYSEArca: USO).
- The April contract for Brent crude oil tracked by the United States Brent Oil Fund ETF (NYSEArca: BNO) declined 0.23 percent, or $0.26, to $110.81 per barrel.
No data available yet today
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- Chain Store Sales
- International Trade - 8:30 a.m. ET
- Jobless Claims - 8:30 a.m. ET
- Productivity and Costs - 8:30 a.m. ET
◦ ILO Unemployment Rate - 1:30 a.m. ET
◦ Merchandise Trade - 2:45 a.m. ET
◦ Manufacturers' Orders - 6:00 a.m. ET
◦ BOE Announcement - 7:00 a.m. ET
◦ ECB Announcement - 7:45 a.m. ET
◦ GDP - 6:50 p.m. ET
◦ Merchandise Trade Balance - TBD