Indices Firm on Limited News
STOCK INDEX FUTURES
There are no major economic reports scheduled for today.
Stock index futures have remained firm despite the continuing belief that the Federal Open Market Committee will be slow to lower interest rates this year. This suggests that some other not yet obvious bullish influence is supporting prices.
The fundamentals and technicals remain supportive to stock index futures.
The U.S. dollar index is a little higher after recently breaking out above a two-week congestion pattern on Friday.
Interest rate differentials remain supportive to the greenback.
Euro zone December retail sales declined 1.1% on the month when down 0.8% was expected.
Median consumer expectations for inflation in the euro area over the next 12 months fell for a third consecutive month to 3.2% in December 2023, which is the lowest level since February 2022, according to the ECB Consumer Expectations Survey.
The Reserve Bank of Australia kept its cash rates unchanged at 4.35% during its first meeting in 2024 as widely expected.
INTEREST RATE MARKET FUTURES
Futures are mixed.
The Treasury will auction three-year notes today.
Federal Reserve speakers today are Loretta Mester at 11:00 central time, Neel Kashkari at 12:00, Susan Collins at 1:00 and Patrick Harker at 6:00.
Financial futures markets are predicting there is a 16% probability that the Federal Open Market Committee will lower its fed funds rate by 25 basis points at the March 20 meeting and an 84% chance that the Fed will keep rates unchanged.
The fundamental are mixed.
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