U.S. equity index futures are higher this morning. S&P 500 futures are up 8 points in pre-opening trade. Strength came mainly from weakness in the U.S. Dollar. Commodities priced in U.S. dollars including gold, silver, copper and crude oil are trading higher. Gold is trading at another all time high.
Traders will be watching comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke today. He is expected to give an update on the U.S. economy at a speech to the New York Economic Club at 12:15 PM.
Economic news released this morning was mixed at best. S&P 500 futures slipped slightly after the news. Consensus for October retail sales was a gain of 0.9% versus a decline of 1.5% in September. Excluding autos sales, consensus was a gain of 0.4%. Actual was a gain of 1.4%. However, September sales were revised to a decline of 2.3% and October sales ex autos improved only 0.2%. In addition, the November Empire State Manufacturing Index came in lower than expected. Consensus was 29.00 versus 34.57 in October. Actual was 23.5. (more)