Small recovery in stocks going into FOMC minutes

US markets look set to open higher today as positive earnings from Alcoa after yesterday’s close capped off the stabilisation of declines seen in the previous two sessions as traders took the opportunity to re-enter the market at lower prices. Futures suggest the S&P500 will open 3 points higher at 1,855 with the Dow Jones expected to open 37 points higher 16,293. In the S&P 500, top tech stocks including eBay, NVidia and Netflix were some of the best performers yesterday with Google and Amazon also well up on the day. Whenever there is a big sell-off, it’s quite typical for those sold off most to have the biggest bounce in the days following. It will be interesting to see if the drop in cyclical and tech shares this month points to a relative underperformance going forward as the stock market rotates towards industrial and basic materials sectors in the next stage of the cycle and closer toward the end of the bull market. The key event for the US session today is the FOMC minutes. Expectations for tapering have been somewhat steady since the first official announcement was made. Most people believe $10bn bond purchases will be cut each month in ‘measured steps’ at each meeting until we hit zero. The greater volatility is seen in expectations for the timing of rates rises once the tapering has finished. These minutes should give some further clarity, now that the unemployment rate has been dropped as forward guidance, what data the Fed is using to rate the performance of the US economy and thus when rates are likely to rise. Bed Bath and Beyond (BBY) report earnings today with expected EPS of $1.60 on revenue of $3.22bn. It is one of the largest retailers of household items in the US and got slammed 12% in January when the company missed earnings. Expectations have been lowered this time around and the improved weather led to a national jump in US retail sales of 0.3% in February giving the company all the opportunity to do better this quarter. 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.