US indices return to trading this morning trading slightly lower after the Empire manufacturing report came in below expectations. This month’s report, and next month’s for that matter, may be impacted by much worse than usual weather across the Eastern Seabord this year. The ongoing poor weather and reports after a break this week, things could get a lot colder again next week has lit a fire under energy commodities this week. Natural gas has been trading above $5.50 and heating oil has been gaining as old man winter continues to overstay his welcome, while WTI and Brent crude also continue to climb. Economic news out of Asia has also played a role in influencing trading to start the week. Stronger than expected Chinese loans has raised the outlook for resource demand sending copper up toward $3.30 once again. gold up through the $1,300 level although it has given some of its gains back today. The Bank of Japan maintained its interest rate and main QE program but has doubled the size of two funds, one aimed at stimulating bank lending and one aimed at strengthening the foundations of economic growth. This action sparked a big rally in the Nikkei while sending JPY lower against both USD and EUR. Gold also remains active having rallied up through $1,300 and carrying on toward $1,332 overnight although it has stared to give back some of its gains in what appears to be normal backing and filling. Corporate News Tesla Motors remains active ahead of tomorrow’s earnings report after reports surfaced over the weekend that Apple had taken an interest in the company. Economic News Economic reports released overnight and this morning include: US Empire manufacturing 4.4 vs street 9.0 and previous 12.5 UK consumer prices 1.9% vs street 2.0% UK producer input prices (0.9%) vs street (0.5%) UK producer output prices 1.2% vs street 0.7% UK retail prices 2.8% vs street 2.7% Germany ZEW current situation 50.0 vs street 44.0 and previous 41.2 Germany economic sentiment 55.7 vs street 61.7 Economic reports issued over the long weekend include: China New Yuan loans 1,320B vs street 1,100B and previous 482B Japan GDP 1.0% vs street 2.8% Japan industrial production 0.9% over month vs street 1.1% NZ retail sales 1.2% vs street 1.6% Greece consumer prices (1.4%) vs street (1.6%) Economic reports due later today include: 10:00 am EST US NAHB housing market index street 56