Wall St. sees record highs, oil rebounds
Monday saw indexes closing at record highs with the S&P, Dow and Nasdaq all gaining, the latter passing the 5,000 mark for the first time since the dot com peak. Asian markets were mixed and closed mostly lower with Australia’s central bank holding back on a further cut in interest rates, while China’s rate cut at the weekend has failed to create much momentum for the markets. European indexes are positive so far with some strong earnings results coupled with more economic data showing some green shoots for the Eurozone. Despite continued warnings of oversupply some stronger economic conditions have helped lift oil prices overnight.
US stock futures are trending lower. Oil is trending higher (Brent $61.12, WTI $50.44 at 5.50am ET). Gold is lower.
Motor Vehicle Sales
Gallup Economic Confidence Index at 8.30am ET
Best Buy, Smith & Wesson and Willis Lease are among those reporting results today.
Gross and Rosenberg split on interest rates
Two investment heavyweights are divided on when the Fed will increase interest rates. Bill Gross of Janus Capital Group says that borrowing rates near zero risk causing bubbles and for that reason sees a rate rise this June. However Gluskin Sheff & Associates’ chief economist David Rosenberg says that the Fed will hold off with rate rises until its inflation target of 2 per cent is met, and he believes that could be next year.
Barclays gives information to precious metals probe
Barclays Bank has revealed that it has been giving information to the US Department of Justice investigation into possible rigging of precious metal prices. Last week HSBC made a similar statement.
Target focuses on millennials
Target has announced a plan to revamp its offering to attract younger shoppers. A source close to the firm says that the stores will become less reliant on packaged foods in favor of product lines such as granola, craft beers and yogurt. The Wall Street Journal reports that as well as younger shoppers, Target is looking to attract urban dwellers and Hispanic customers to its stores.
College savings plans may become more flexible
A new bill passed by the House of Representatives aims to make 529 college savings funds more flexible and allow them to be used for expenses such as computers and internet access. The bill also includes a change to allow refunds from colleges to be reinvested in the 529 plan tax-free if the student falls ill or drops out of college for a time. Currently that would be subject to both income tax and often a penalty.