US markets look set to open higher on the last day of the quarter with hopes of stimulus still in the air ahead of the release of Chicago PMI data and a speech by Fed Chair Yellen. Futures suggest the S&P500 will open 7 points higher at 1,864 with the Dow Jones expected to open 55 points higher 16,378. The S&P500 and DJIA were largely directionless in March taking cues both at home from the Federal Reserve and internationally from the growth outlook for China. US corporations increasingly derive a lot of their profits from overseas, especially China. Any economic slowdown in China reduces demand for US goods and services. China Construction Bank Corp rounded off a week of profit growth in China’s largest four banks and added to the renewed good feelings out of the country since Premier Li’s announcement of the government’s intended support to maintain growth. Beneath the surface, a reported dramatic increase in loan write-offs may be skewing the true picture of Chinese bank balance sheets and gives another insight into China’s deteriorating credit conditions. Today, Fed Chair Janet Yellen will have her first major speech since her dramatic FOMC press conference in which see suggested a much closer time horizon for the first rise in US interest rates. Most of her peers in the FOMC have since largely defended her comments describing them as not a mistake, with the Fed’s Bullard even saying they were in line with private surveys. That being the case it seems likely she will reiterate her comments, though any signs of a back-track could definitely light markets up. Shares of H&R Block maybe active again today following the rumour the company may sell its banking unit to BofI Holding that pushed the stock up 6% on Friday. Facebook may see some bargain hunters after the stock was knocked down over 10% in the last couple of weeks. Investors were not too impressed with the company’s spree of acquisitions including the latest plans to buy Oculus Virtual Reality. CMC Markets is an execution only provider. The material (whether or not it states any opinions) is for general information purposes only, and does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) financial, investment or other advice on which reliance should be placed. No opinion given in the material constitutes a recommendation by CMC Markets or the author that any particular investment, security, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person.
US Markets set to open higher ahead of speech from Fed’s Yellen
19:00, 30 March 2014