European concerns won’t go away. Investors remain focused on the Greek rescue package and what it means for the rest of the eurozone. Uncertainty surrounding the final terms and implementation of the bailout are setting up U.S. equities to erase the gains seen yesterday.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Treasury said yesterday it would borrow $340 billion in the second quarter, up from $268 billion as announced earlier. The Treasury said the new, bigger amount includes measures for funding a Fed program to finance its special momentary policy operations.
Also, former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker told an audience in St. Louis last night that the U.S. economy could be in for a “long slog” as unemployment is anticipated to remain elevated for a sustained period.
Two hours ahead of the bell, Dow futures are down 56 points to 11,046 and S&P 500 futures are off 6.8 points to 1,191.80. The 2 year Treasury note is down 4 basis points in yield to 0.96% while the 10 year note is 4.2 basis points lower at 3.649%. Gold is 0.28% lower to $1,179.40 and light crude is trading 1.28% lower at $85.09.
Key Events Today:
10:00 ― The Pending Home Sales Index was weaker than anticipated in January, falling 7.6%; but over the last 12 months the index has climbed 8.8%. The most recent data saw declines in each major region, but on the upside there should be a technical rebound this month, and improved weather should help as well.
“Some of the improvement could be attributed to the scheduled expiration of the home buyers’ tax credit on April 30th, but low prices and favorable mortgage rates are also expected to attract buyers to the market,” said economists at BBVA.
10:00 ― Factory Orders have risen for six straight months thanks to businesses rebuilding inventory. Factory orders increased 0.6 percent in February following an upwardly revised 1.7 uptick in January. However, economists surveyed by Reuters expect new factory orders to have declined 0.1 percent in March.
On Capitol Hill, the U.S. Senate will cast its first votes on the nearly 1,600 page Wall Street reform bill. The first amendment is expected from Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer who wants to add language saying that no taxpayer funds could be used again to bail out financial institutions. This amendment is likely to gain wide support from both parties. Democratic leaders have not yet determined as of late Monday whether amendments will need 50 or 60 votes to pass. This is important because Democrats control 59 votes in the 100-member chamber, versus the Republicans' 41 votes.
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner will also appear before the Senate Finance Committee this morning. The topic of discussion: The President’s Proposed Fee on Financial Institutions Regarding TARP.
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