Stock index indicated a mixed open this morning, after a rally sparked by better-than-expected U.S. earnings seemed to lose its momentum and as investors await new housing market data. Before the open the Census Bureau will release data on housing starts and building permits for the month of September. Housing starts are expected to come in at an annual rate of 768,000 while building permits are expected to have been issued at an annual rate of 815,000.
Markets in Europe managed to post small gains after Moody's Investor Services held Spain's credit rating at investment grade and didn't dump it into junk territory as had been feared. The credit-rating firm did, however, assign a negative outlook to the rating, reminding that a downgrade is likely if conditions deteriorate further. Reuters reported Spain was likely to seek a credit line of around 50 billion euros from the European Central Bank (ECB), potentially triggering the ECB's bond-buying program.
Asian stock markets were higher on Wednesday after Moody's reaffirmed its rating on Spanish debt, helping Australian and Hong Kong shares hit multi-month highs. Regional market sentiment improved after Moody's Investors Service affirmed Spain's government bond rating. Markets have been waiting for the big events in the region which have yet to happen. On Thursday, China will release its growth numbers for the third quarter, a data point that will be scrutinized to assess the health of the Chinese economy. Also on Thursday, a summit of European leaders is scheduled to start, which will be examined for further progress on the region's ongoing debt crisis.
In the commodities market crude oil futures are mixed this morning with Brent falling 0.26% to trade at $113.70 while WTI rose 0.14%, coming in at $92.22 and natural gas added 0.49% to trade at $3.45. Precious metals are slightly higher this morning with gold up 0.27% to trade at $1,751.10 and silver trading at $33.04. The dollar moved lower against the euro and the British pound as well as the Japanese Yen.
In pre-market trading Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (BK), Mattel Inc (MAT), EOG Resources Inc (EOG), CH Robinson Worldwide Inc (CHRW), and Cymer Inc (CYMI) are up, while Bank of America Corporation (BAC), Intel Corporation (INTC), International Business Machines Corp (IBM), St Jude Medical (STJ), and Check Point Software Technologies Inc (CHKP) are down. [MarketIntelligenceCenter.com]