Mixed data on housing and inflation greeted investors this
morning as they prepare for tomorrow's all-important Fed
US housing starts rose 6.8% in May. Builders broke ground on new
houses at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 914,000, missing
estimates of 955,000. April's rate was revised up to 856,000.
Building permits declined, but came in just above estimates at
Inflation was subdued again. The consumer price index rose 0.1%
month-over-month in May after falling 0.4% in April. The price of
shelter was among items that rose, while fuel prices stayed flat
and food costs fell. Excluding food and energy, CPI rose 0.2%
Futures are little changed before the opening bell.
(INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures were up 0.07% at 15,132. Futures contracts
(INDEXSP:.INX) climbed 0.07% to 1,634.80 and
(INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures rose 0.13% to 2,968.50.
The Federal Reserve begins its two-day policy meeting today, and
all focus this week will be on the minutes release and press
conference tomorrow afternoon.
In an interview with Charlie Rose, President Obama hinted that Ben
Bernanke's days as Fed chairman might be over soon. Obama said that
Bernanke has served "a lot longer than he wanted or he was supposed
European shares are mixed today as car sales in the region came in
weak. The Association of European Carmakers reported that sales
fell 5.9% year-over-year to a 20-year low of 1.042 million in May.
Sales in Cyprus tumbled 41.4%, but rose 11% in the UK. British
inflation rose 2.7% yearly in May, largely helped by a steep rise
in transport costs.
Germany's ZEW investor sentiment index showed that future optimism
is rising. The index climbed 1.1 points to 38.5 in May, beating
expectations, But current conditions are viewed less favorably,
falling 0.3 points to 8.6. Economists agree that Germany won't pick
up until later in the year.
Japanese stocks ended the day just slightly lower. A report today
showed that industrial production in the country missed
expectations, expanding 0.9% in May. Economists expected a repeat
of April's 1.7% growth rate.
In corporate news,
Research In Motion Ltd
) shares rose 1.05% after RBC Capital markets analysts raised their
estimate of BlackBerry 10 device sales to 3.5 million for the first
quarter and and 4 million in the second quarter.
Adobe Systems Incorporated
), the maker of Photoshop and other design software, could see
heavy trading today before it reports earnings this afternoon.
Analysts expect the firm to report earnings of $0.34 per share.
) continued to rally in after-hours trading after rising 7%
yesterday on news of a deal to carry content from
Animation Skg Inc
The United States and European Union began hammering out the
biggest free trade agreement in history at the G8 summit in
Northern Ireland. Among the economic benefits are
for Americans, who pay as much as 66% in tariffs for imported
shoes. Japanese and European carmakers could also benefit from
unified safety regulations.
Disclosure: Minyanville Studios, a division of Minyanville
Media, has a business relationship with BlackBerry.