This morning the S&P 500 E-mini futures (ES H1) are trading higher by 7.75 points at 8:30 am EST. The stock market seems to be reacting positive as oil is pulling back below $100.00 a barrel. This morning, April crude is trading around $96.85 a barrel. Crude remains the driving force behind every stock market move. Yesterday afternoon when oil prices pulled back below the $100.00 level the stock market indexes actually rallied higher off of it’s intra-day lows.
Traders and investors will have no choice but to follow oil closer than ever now as the Middle East and North Africa remain in turmoil. The situation in Libya seems to be expanding to other nations in the region. Iraq is reported to have protesters beginning to question the newly formed government in that country. Iraq is the third largest oil producer in the Middle East. Should Saudi Arabia see an uprising or protest by their citizens it would be prudent to expect another oil spike. At this time Saudi Arabia has been tame.
The Asian markets rallied higher last night. The Hang Seng Index (Hong Kong) traded higher by 1.81 percent. The Nikkei 225 Index (Japan) traded higher by 0.72 percent. The Sensex Index(India) ended higher by 0.39 percent. The highly followed Shanghai Index (China) ended the trading session unchanged. When the Asian markets trade mostly higher this is usually a positive for the U.S. stock markets.
At 8:30 am EST the fourth quarter gross domestic product (GDP) was revised lower by the government to 2.8 percent from the originally reported 3.2 percent growth rate. This revision has not had any effect on the future markets.
Stocks that will be in play today will be Boeing Co. (NYSE:BA). Boeing Co. received a $35 billion dollar contract from the U.S. government this morning. Salesforce.com Inc. (NYSE:CRM) is trading higher this morning after beating earning last night. The stock is trading higher by $12.00 to $147.00 a share ahead of the opening bell. Other cloud computing stocks could trade higher in sympathy to Salesforce.com. Traders should watch stocks such as VMWare Inc. (NYSE:VMW), Citrix Systems Inc. (NASDAQ:CTSX), and F5 Networks Inc. (NASDAQ:FFIV) for sympathy plays.
Today is a Friday and rarely do we see or expect a large decline on a Friday. For some magical reason the stock market indexes are usually flat to slightly higher by the closing bell at 4:00 pm EST.
|S&P 500 Gainers & Losers||Price||% Change|
|Interpublic Group of Companies (IPG)||12.70||+9.29%|
|Rowan Companies (RDC)||42.00||+5.45%|
|The Boeing Company (BA)||73.70||+4.15%|
|F5 Networks (FFIV)||121.50||+3.79%|
|First Solar (FSLR)||160.00||-2.79%|