Sitting comfortably at 13-month highs, equities are beginning the day moving sideways ahead of data on inflation and the housing market.
The Dow looks to open 21 points higher at 10,419 and the S&P 500 is 2.5 points up at 1,110.
The dollar index index is down 0.50% to 75.0, 37 cents below Tuesday’s close. Its weakness continues to boost commodity prices as foreign investors find their prices attractive. Oil is once again past the $80 mark, while gold prices are trading at $1,147.40 per ounce, a new record high.
Key Events Today:
8:30 ― The Consumer Price Index is expected to remain broadly unchanged in most categories, but higher energy prices should should push the headline up 0.2% overall. The core CPI, which excludes food and energy prices, is expected to inch up 0.1%.
“The high unemployment rate is exerting downward pressure on wages, as employers have a larger applicant pool,” said forecasters at BBVA. “Furthermore, with weak demand in a competitive environment, many firms choose not to raise their prices. The abundant slack in the economy helps to buffer inflationary pressures from the fiscal stimulus and monetary easing.”
8:30 ― Housing Starts, a broad measure of new residential construction, have been broadly stable since April following three years of decline. Not much is expected to change in October, with the consensus estimate predicting the annualized pace of construction to inch from 590k units to 600k.
A different perspective is offered by analysts at IHS Global Insight. “Single-family starts are likely to slip, since they have been running ahead of housing permits,” they wrote in a weekly note. “Looking into 2010, single-family starts should improve, propelled by the need to replenish inventory, household formation, and job growth. The recovery will be a slow one, though, lasting into 2012. Multi-family starts should rise, but only because their recent collapse has brought their level so near the bottom.”