Building on yesterday’s US index gains of 0.3%-1.5%, US index futures are trading flat to up 0.25% this morning. Over in Europe, the FTSE is up 0.4% while the Dax and CAC are up 0.8% and Milan is up 1.4%. Asia Pacific trading was mixed with the Nikkei climbing 0.6% but the Hang Seng sliding 1.4%. Commodities are bouncing back with Copper and WTI Crude Oil both up about 1.6%, while Natural Gas is down 0.8% after rallying yesterday and Gold is up 0.3%.
Investors appear to be waiting on comments from central bankers this morning, one from the European Central Bank and three from the Fed including Chair Powell at 11:00 am EDT. Powell, in particular, may attract attention from investors looking for hints as to whether the Fed could pause rate hikes at next month’s FOMC meeting. US debt ceiling negotiations continue to simmer away heading into the weekend.
Headline Canada retail sales fell by 1.4% in March, in line with analyst expectations. Retail sales excluding Autos, however, were not as bad as feared (-0.3% vs street -0.8%).
Positive earnings reports continue to roll in with Deere ($9.65 vs street $8.58, up 3.0% premarket), and Applied Materials ($2.00 vs street $1.84), beating expectations overnight and this morning. Next week, earnings season wraps up with results from Canadian banks and more North American retailers.