Stocks advanced today as initial jobless claims ticked up and three key central banks convene to disucss monetary policy.
Initial claims for unemployment insurance in the US rose to 367,000 from last week's upwardly-revised 363,000. Economists expected claims to rise to 370,000. A private report by Challenger, Grey and Christmas, a Chicago-based outplacement firm, showed that mass layoffs increased to 33,816 in September from 32,239. This is a preview for tomorrow's non-farm payrolls report where experts are predicting a modest 110,000 additions to the payrolls.
Stocks are set to open higher today. Future contracts on the Dow Jones Industrial Average
(INDEXDJX:.DJI) gained 0.36% to 13,474.00. S&P 500
(INDEXSP:.INX) futures climbed 0.44% to 1,451.00, and Nasdaq
(INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures headed up 0.46% to 2,821.00.
Factory orders for August probably declined by 6% after gaining 2.8% in July, according to economists' estimates. The government will release factory orders data at 10:00 a.m.
The European Central Bank, Bank of England, and Bank of Japan are all meeting to discuss policy today. All three central banks have already announced that benchmark interest rates will not change in their respective will leave interest rates unchanged. The minutes of the Federal Reserve's September 13 meeting will hit the wires this afternoon at 2:00 p.m. EST.
Spanish bond yields fell today after the country sold 3.992 billion euros in short-term debt. Spain came very close to meeting its target of 4 billion euros, but yields on the five- and two-year notes fell to 4.77% and 3.28% respectively.
Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said that there is "still a large gap" that Greece has to cover in budget negotiations with the troika of international lenders. Resolving these issues, which are already delayed, is a prerequisite for a crucial 31.5 billion euro tranche of bailout funds.
In equities, Hewlett-Packard
(NYSE:HPQ) shares extended yesterday's fall in pre-market trading. The stock fell nearly 13% to a decade low of $14.91 after CEO Meg Whitman sad that 2013 earnings will fall short of Wall Street's expectations and promised that the long-awaited turnaround at the company will not come any sooner than 2014. Whitman said that the company has cut earnings guidance for FY 2013 to $3.50 per share from $4.00.
(NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle Paperwhite e-reader is sold out through November, according to the online retailer.
(NYSE:T) will release Nokia's
(NYSE:NOK) flagship Lumia 920 smartphone in the United States. Pricing for the device is not yet available.
The world's food prices rose last month to the highest level in six months, according to the United Nations Food & Agriculture Association.
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