The S&P 500 Index futures (ES M1) are trading higher by 2.00 points to 1304.25 per contract. Nearly every morning we see the futures trading higher before the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange. At this time oil is trading lower by 0.83 cents to $103.16 a barrel and this could be helping the futures market this morning.
Last night the Asian markets were mixed. The Nikkei Index(Japan) was slightly lower trading down by 0.21 percent. The Hang Seng Index (Hong Kong) was flat closing lower by just 0.03 percent. The highly followed Shanghai Index (China) traded lower by 0.87 percent and this could effect the commodities market this morning. Often when the Shanghai Index rallies commodities will usually react positive on the news. The opposite effect is often true when the Shanghai Index closes down or lower.
Gold and silver are holding steady this morning trading basically flat. Recently gold and silver have traded in tandem with WTI oil. We shall see how long this relationship lasts as it has been closely tied to oil ever since the Middle East crisis.
At 9:00 am EST the Case-Schiller Home Price Index will be released for January. This report has had little effect on the stock market over the past few months. Right now the stock market has continued to climb the wall of worry on extremely light trading volume. As long as the trading volume remains light the markets could trade higher as there is simply a lack of selling pressure. At this time the Federal Reserve is still purchasing between $4 – 8 billion in U.S. Treasuries everyday which creates inflation and props the markets up once the agencies purchase stock with the money from the sale of the bonds. Traders must also watch for the consumer confidence report at 10:00 am EST. This report has been shrugged off recently and could be another non-event.