Today's Agenda in the Markets
What goes up can go down and then back up again. U.S. stocks, for now, look ready for lift off at the opening, after yesterday's relatively quiet session left prices slightly lower.
Stock markets are moving higher in Europe this morning, and Asian stock markets bounced overnight. Japanese stocks were up nearly 2%. European markets are watching interest-rate news this morning.
In the U.S., there's little economic news expected, but investors will be watching retailers as they report same store sales for February today. Already, Costco says its sales rose 4% for the month, but it also reported a decline in earnings from stock-option related expenses.
The European Central Bank raised interest rates rate a quarter point to 3.75% this morning as expected to push rates a quarter point higher to 3.75%. The Bank of England left rates unchanged, as expected.
Oil is slightly lower after two days of gains. Our Sharon Epperson takes a look at the rising price of gasoline today, which is creeping beyond $3 a gallon in California. She will tell us what and what we can expect in the months ahead.
Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, speaking to business leaders in Shanghai, urged China to move faster to open markets. Chinese lawmakers, meanwhile, introduced a law to protect private property and a tax law that would end tax breaks for foreign investors.
President Bush, meanwhile, opens his week long trip to Latin America today.
On Wall Street
Ford was upgraded to neutral at Credit Suisse. Wachovia cut apartment REITs to "market weight" from "overweight." Citigroup upgraded British Airways to "buy" from "hold."
D.R. Horton CEO Don Tomnitz delivered bad news to Wall Street with his forecast for the rest of 2007 yesterday. But instead of the staid, CEO-like comments that analysts are used to hearing, he called it like he saw it. '07 is going to suck, all 12 months of it." Certainly, analysts got the point.