Wall Street is gearing up for a higher opening this morning after yesterday's sluggish trading saw averages barely budge. Tokyo and Hong Kong closed higher, and China's market found a firmer footing after its steep decline. European stock markets were higher.
Oil is showing some determination to continue its early move higher today after a half hearted attempt to gather some pricing traction failed yesterday. British Petroleum meanwhile reported its lowest profit in two years due to lower output and falling energy prices.
The Bulls vs. Bears debate continues on CNBC today. The ever present idea that a correction is coming gained momentum last week. But bulls discount the concerns, pointing to plenty of liquidity and a solid economic foundation supporting the rise in stocks. See CNBC.com reporter Peter Kang's story on the debate, Bulls Dismiss Concerns for a Short-Term Correction in U.S. Stocks.
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks on income inequality at the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce today. There is no question and answer period following it but we'll be watching. "There's a rising chorus about this," says our Steve Liesman of the speech topic. "(Former Fed Chairman) Greenspan spoke about it, and said it threatened Democracy. (Treasury Secretary) Paulson and President Bush spoke about it. But it's new that the chairman is giving a speech only on this issue. You wonder if it becomes important and this is galvanizing."
Also speaking today is Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Michael Moskow. He speaks to a jobs, housing and transportation summit in Chicago at 1 p.m. ET.
Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson appears before a House committee today to testify on the budget.
Home Depotnamed David Batchelder to its board in an effort to escape a proxy fight. Batchelder funs a San Diego fund, Relational Investors hat had been critical of former CEO Robert Nardelli. Relational dropped a proxy battle to gain at least one board seat.
GEmeanwhile is expected to announce its first investment in the European water market with the 95 percent investment in Idex Aquaservices.
Wal-Martis expected to announce a partnership with six major Hollywood studios to sell digital moves and television shows on its web site, making it the first traditional retailer to do so, says the New York Times.
As reported yesterday, NBC Universal is expected to announce Jeff Zucker will become CEO, taking the helm from GE Vice chairman Robert Wright.
Blackstone raised its bid for Equity Office Properties in the ongoing saga for control of EOP after the Vornado-led group said it would put cash upfront in an effort to sway EOP.
The New York Times reports that the SEC is looking at whether Wall Street employees are leaking information about big trades to favorite clients, like hedge funds.