Compiled 03/01/12 6:00 AM (CT) Statistics: London Gold Fix $1,721.00 -$67.00 LME Copper Stocks 292,250 tons -4,175 tons SILVER MARKET FUNDAMENTALS: (6:00 AM CT) After the aggressive washout in the prior trading session, the silver trade has managed a slight recovery that some traders think is largely the result of technical short covering. Like gold, the silver market was partially undermined by a lack of fresh easing talk from the US Fed Chairman yesterday. In the action today outside market forces are somewhat supportive of the bull case, but one doesn't see a definitive risk-on vibe in place in the early Thursday trade action. The US scheduled data today is expected to be mixed with expectations calling for a slight rise in claims but that potential negative impact on silver prices might be countervailed by gains in Personal Spending, Personal Income and ISM manufacturing results. In retrospect, the Bernanke comments on inflation being pushed up by gasoline prices seemed to combine with a lack of fresh easing talk to hammer silver and other physical commodity prices and with more testimony today, some traders fear further pressure from the Fed dialogue. However, a somewhat positive economic vibe from Europe and classic technical short covering action in silver might allow the market to start out on a positive footing today. Comex Silver Stocks were 130.989 million ounces up 365,638 ounces. Comex Silver Stocks are at the highest levels since 10/24/2008. OUTSIDE MARKET DEVELOPMENTS: (6:00 AM CT) Asian equity markets were weaker overnight with those markets disappointed in the dialogue from the US Federal Reserve Chairman on Wednesday. European equity markets were higher in the wake of supportive corporate earnings news from some large cap stocks. Early US equity market action was mixed and wasn't offering up much in the way of direction. While the US Fed Chairman will offer up more testimony to Congress today, the market typically sees its biggest reaction to the initial testimony. The metals markets will see a rather active slate of US scheduled data with the claims figures followed by Personal Income and Personal Spending readings. Expectations call for a modest rise in Personal Income and Spending figures but that might be countervailed by an expected rise in Initial claims. Later this morning the market will also see an ISM Manufacturing report and expectations generally call for a rise in that reading. The markets will also see US domestic auto sales figures today and that could provide the metals with some direction. Early in the trading session today the markets will see a speech from the Cleveland Fed President and later this morning the Fed's Raskin will give an economic outlook.