S&P 500 e-mini futures (ES M1) have erased an overnight decline and are trading positive by 2.50 points to 1303.50 per contract this morning. A positive reaction to corporate earnings in some leading stocks such as Johnson and Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE:GS) are certainly helping the markets remain higher before the opening bell.
The European Union debt crisis remains front and center despite the lack of media coverage in the United States. Greek 2-year bond yields are spiking higher again today. Spain is the next nation on the list that could be in line for a bailout. We shall see how long this problem can just be ignored by the markets.
The Asian markets sold off sharply last night. The highly followed Shanghai Index(China) closed lower by nearly 2.0 percent and this should put pressure on many of the leading commodity stocks around the open of the session. Often when the Shanghai Index declines many investors will view this action as a sign of contraction in the economy. The only thing that could help commodities from falling would be a declining U.S. Dollar Index (DXY). This morning the U.S. Dollar Index is declining lower by 0.30 cents to $75.20.
Gold and silver were trading higher earlier in the morning, however, both precious metals are pulling back a little this morning. The iShares Silver Trust (NYSE:SLV) is trading lower by 0.40 cents to to $42.01 a share. The SPDR Gold Shares (NYSE:GLD) are trading lower by 0.30 cents from yesterday’s close to $145.61 a share. Gold and silver remain in strong up-trends on the daily charts.
WTI oil is pulling back again for a second consecutive session. WTI oil is trading lower by $1.20 to $105.92 a barrel. The Middle East and Northern Africa remain in turmoil. The saving grace for oil is that the problems have not escalated over the past few weeks to different nations in the region. Saudi Arabia has also remained stable despite the uprising by it’s neighbor Bahrain. Anyone who has followed the Middle East should know that these problems do not disappear quickly.
Corporate earnings are being released in droves this week, therefore, there should be good volatility at least in the early part of the trading session. This is a holiday shortened trading week and many traders will usually leave early today for the start of Passover and this could make for a light volume environment after the first few hours of the day.