meanwhile signs that the recession is easing in the world's largest economy continued to support confidence among investors.

Meanwhile Google Inc. reported yesterday higher earnings compared to a year earlier, as the technology giant reported net income of $1.42 billion or $4.49 a share, up from $1.31 billion or $4.12 per share reported a year earlier.

The Euro declined against the U.S. dollar after the European Central Bank Trichet Signaled that the ECB will do everything possible to help them withstand the ongoing recession and revive growth in the 16-nation economy, the Euro fell towards the $1.30 levels this morning and seems to be on its way to breach this level and head towards the $1.29 levels.

Meanwhile consumer confidence rose in March to 29.6 from the prior estimate of 27.6 but fell short from median estimates of 30.0, while the consumer confidence households index also rose in March to 28.9 from 26.7 and slightly below median estimates of 29.0.

Moving on to Europe, as Switzerland will release today the retail sales index for the month of February, retail sales are expected to have dropped by an annualized 0.2% following the prior reported rise of 1.2%.

Meanwhile the euro zone will release the trade balance for the month of February; the deficit is expected to have narrowed to 5.0 billion Euros from the prior reported deficit of 10.5 billion Euros, while the seasonally adjusted trade deficit is expected to have narrowed to 4.9 billion Euros from the prior deficit of 5.5 billion Euros. The euro zone will also release construction output for the month of February.

On the other hand Canada will release the consumer price index for the month of March, CPI is expected to rise by 0.3% following the prior rise of 0.7%, while CPI is expected to have risen by an annualized 1.4% inline with the prior reported rise, meanwhile core CPI is expected to rise by 0.2% down from the prior rise of 0.5%, and compared with a year earlier core CPI is expected to have risen by 1.9% inline with the prior reported rise.

As for the United States, the University of Michigan confidence index will be released today, the index is expected to rise to 58.5 from the prior reported estimate of 57.3, as recently the pace of slowdown has been easing and accordingly consumer confidence started to rise, however rising unemployment continued to suppress consumer confidence, especially after unemployment rose in March to the highest in 25 years at 8.5 percent.

Companies continue to layoff workers amid the ongoing recession and the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, though conditions are slightly getting better, however conditions are still rather challenging, especially after yesterday's housing data, which diminished hopes that the housing market is finding its bottom.

Yesterday a report showed that building permits a gauge for future activity in the housing market dropped to a record low, as the rising number of foreclosures continued to suppress activity in the housing market, which continues to undergo its worst slump since the Great Depression.