US Stock Futures Suggest Upbeat Opening But Janet Yellen’s Testimony Should Dictate Further Direction For Markets

 @arjunkashyapa.kashyap@ibtimes.com
on February 11 2014 5:59 AM
NYSE_1
A phone hangs above the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening of the market on Aug. 19, 2011. Reuters/Lucas Jackson

While stock futures suggest an upbeat start to Tuesday's trading session, investors will closely watch Janet Yellen's prepared comments on the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy stance, which should dictate how markets will do for the remainder of the session.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.44 percent and futures on the S&P 500 were up 0.43 percent while those on the Nasdaq were up 0.41 percent. On Monday, the Dow closed nearly flat, up 0.05 percent, while the S&P 500 inched up 0.16 percent and the Nasdaq climbed 0.54 percent.

On the earnings front, Sprint Corp. (NYSE:S), CVS Caremark Corp. (NYSE:CVS) and PG&E Corp. (NYSE:PCG) are among those scheduled to declare quarterly earnings before markets open Monday. The Western Union Co. (NYSE:WU) and Tripadvisor Inc (NASDAQ:TRIP) are among those scheduled to announce earnings after markets close.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s monetary policy testimony is scheduled to be released at 8:30 a.m., and investors will watch closely for any indications of a course correction in the Fed’s stimulus program, following Ben Bernanke’s exit.

“The last thing she wants to do is make comments that signal a shift in policy. Her chairmanship is ten days old. I don’t think she wants to do anything that would rock the boat,” Thomas Simons, a money-market economist at Jefferies in New York, told MarketWatch, adding: “If Yellen assigns more value to recent weak data and says this goes beyond weather, that would be bearish.”

In Europe, stocks were significantly higher with the Stoxx Europe 600 index up 0.84 percent while the FTSE 100 was up 0.98 percent. Germany’s DAX-30 was up 1.28 percent and France's CAC-40 was up 0.8 percent.

In Asia too, markets were up with Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 up 0.62 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 1.78 percent while the Shanghai Composite climbed 0.84 percent. South Korea’s Kospi was up 0.46 percent, while India’s BSE Sensex inched up 0.14 percent.

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