Bob Pisani is off all week - this post was written by CNBC producer Robert Hum
Stocks saw a fairly flat open ahead of some key events later today. Just after 1pm ET, the U.S. Government will announce results of its latest auction of 10-year Treasury notes. Then at 2pm ET the Federal Reserve will release its Beige Book report on current economic conditions in its 12 districts. This comes ahead of President Obama’s widely-anticipated speechto a joint session of Congress on his healthcare reform proposals at 8pm ET.
While stocks continue to hover near their highest levels since October, the U.S. Dollar Index continues to hit new 52-week lows. The dollar’s decline (now down 4 straight days) is pushing commodities slightly higher in early trading, with gold rising above the $1,000/ounce level once again.
Meanwhile, gold mining giant Barrick Gold is betting that gold will continue to rise further. Last night, it announced that it was planning to issue $3 billion in stock via a secondary offering and use the proceeds to exit all of its current gold hedges within the next year. These gold hedges typically force companies to sell gold future contracts at a price lower than the present spot price.
1) Talbots soars 12 percent after reporting a narrower-than-expected Q2 loss (loss of $0.33 vs. loss of $0.52 est.). While same-store sales plunged 25 percent during the quarter, the women’s apparel chain’s heavy cost cuts and better inventory management help the company beat the Street’s forecasts.