Markets anticipate Yellen’s speech
World markets are tinged with caution Tuesday ahead of Janet Yellen’s twice-yearly testimony to Congress. Investors will be seeking clues to the Fed’s plan for interest rates with most analysts still betting on a June rise. What appears to be an acceptable proposal for Greece’s debt issue was proposed by the country’s finance minister in a draft document late yesterday but caution still remains until full details have been revealed and accepted. Asia’s indexes closed with record gains, except for Hong Kong. Europe’s markets remain mixed so far today.
US stock futures are mixed; oil is trending lower (Brent $58.69, WTI $49.08 at 5.40am ET); gold is lower.
S&P Case-Shiller HPI at 9.00am ET
PMI Services Flash at 9.45am ET
Consumer Confidence at 10.00am ET
Janet Yellen Speaks at 10.00am ET
Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index at 10.00am ET
Dominos, Dreamworks and Office Depot are among those reporting earnings today.
Banks investigated for possible rigging of commodities prices
Another investigation into the activities of major banks has been launched. This time it’s allegations of price-rigging in the commodities markets. The US Department of Justice and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission have launched a joint investigation into ten major banks according to the Wall Street Journal. HSBC Holdings, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase and Standard Bank Group are among those being probed according to the report.
OPEC emergency meeting now unlikely
Oil has slipped back after gains yesterday as hopes of an emergency meeting of OPEC faded. Yesterday the Nigerian oil minister suggested that the cartel may be about to call an unscheduled summit to discuss the continued weakness of oil prices, with hopes raised that it may decide to cut production. However overnight an anonymous spokesman from OPEC denied that this is likely.
Obama calls for curbs on retirement fund brokers
President Obama has called on the Department of Labor to crack down on payments given to brokers giving retirement advice. New rules proposed by the department would require brokers to act in the best interests of the client rather than the current stipulation of products being “suitable”. The President wants curbs on hidden fees and “backdoor payments” made to brokers for recommending products.