Stocks headed for a higher open on Wednesday, as surging prices for oil and other commodities drove a global equities rally and Home Depot raised its outlook.
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A weaker U.S. dollar helped push U.S. crude oil futures up more than $1 a barrel to top $71, a new seven-month high, after data Tuesday showed a steep drop in U.S. crude inventories, and lifted commodity prices like copper and gold.
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This is a (inflation) trade. The dollar weakens, that certainly helps commodities, said Peter Boockvar, equity strategist at Miller Tabak & Co in New York.
Yes, it's giving the appearance that things are okay, but it's coming with a dark cloud of inflation, said Peter Boockvar, equity strategist at Miller Tabak & Co in New York.
While higher energy prices may be a boon for the energy sector, the sharp rise could hamper any economic recovery by increasing energy costs for consumers and businesses.
S&P 500 futures rose 9.30 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures jumped 81 points, while Nasdaq 100 futures were up 9.75 points.
Before the bell, the U.S. dollar and treasury markets were hit by unsettling news as Russia said it will reduce the share of U.S. treasuries in its gold and foreign exchange reserves.
With fears of inflation and recently creeping interest rates, investors will watch a 10-year Treasury note auction at 1 p.m. EDT to gauge the appetite for ever-increasing government debt.
We're going to be glued to our seats for all three of the auctions we have this week, said Arthur Hogan, chief market analyst at Jefferies & Co in New York.
If you don't have the appropriate demand and interest rates go up, they start to become a magnet for dollars that would otherwise be in the stock market.
JPMorgan Securities raised its price targets on Goldman Sachs Group Inc
The U.S. trade gap widened to $29.2 billion in April as exports weakened again in a reflection of waning global demand, a U.S. government report on Wednesday showed.
The Federal Reserve's Beige Book of current economic conditions will be released at 2 p.m. EDT.
U.S. stocks ended mixed on Tuesday, capping another session of directionless trading as investors looked for fresh catalysts to sustain the markets recovery from 12-year lows of early March.
Volatility continues to trend lower. The CBOE volatility Index <.VIX>, or VIX, notched its lowest close since the day before the Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc
(Reporting by Edward Krudy; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)