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Pre-Market Primer: Stocks, Gold Rebound; Housing Starts Ramp Up

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Goldman Sachs smashed earnings expectations last quarter.

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Stock futures and gold recovered from yesterday's sharp sell-off this morning as investors await fresh indicators on inflation, housing, and manufacturing.

Before the opening bell Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures are up 0.59% at 14,597 and S&P (INDEXSP:.INX) futures rose 0.63% to 1,553.20. Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures advanced 0.66% to 2,801.75.

Housing starts ramped up in March, increasing to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 1.04 million, up from a rate of 968,000 in February. Economists expected to see that builders broke ground on new homes at a rate of 930,000.

Consumer prices fell 0.2% in March after advancing 0.7% in February. Economists estimated that prices stayed flat last month. The drop mainly came from volatile items such as energy costs. Core CPI rose 0.1%.

Later this morning the Federal Reserve's monthly index of industrial production is expected to show that output cooled, expanding 0.2% in March after rising 0.7% in February. Economists estimate that the capacity utilization rate declined slightly to 78.3% from 79.6% and manufacturing advanced 0.1%, down from a 0.8% rise in February.

European stocks sank today as German economic sentiment dove to 36.8 this month from 48.5 in march. Eurozone consumer prices rose by less than planned. CPI in the region rose 1.7% from a year earlier in March. Subdued inflation gives the central bank more latitude for loose monetary policy.

Oil futures sank today. Brent crude futures fell below $100/barrel for the first time since July 2012. Brent has been on a downward trajectory since February.

Gold futures are rebounding today. After hitting two-year lows yesterday, the yellow metal is up 1.92% to $1,387.20 per ounce. The drop in gold prices was initially driven by speculation that lenders might force Cyprus to sell its gold reserves to pay for the bailout. After falling 14% in just two days, some investors see a buying opportunity.

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) posted a massive earnings beat for the first quarter of the year. Earnings per share rose 36% year over year to $4.29, smashing expectations of $3.88. Shares are up 0.68% in pre-market trading. A 36% rise in investment banking revenue drove the firm's profits.

Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) rose 3.4% this morning as its earnings per share of $0.46 beat expectations by a penny. Profits are down 15% from the year earlier, however, and revenue of $11.04 billion missed estimates. Volume grew over the quarter, with emerging markets offsetting declines in mature markets.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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