Stock index futures are pointing to a narrowly lower opening as investors started to show concern that a strengthening economy could boost interest rates.
Wall Street comes off two consecutive winning weeks as investors head towards what's likely to be the best year for the stock market since 2003. 2008 was one of the worst years in stock market history, but many investors point out that in mid-March, it still appeared that the market was on its way to another year of considerable losses.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will again command investor attention today, following his lengthy appearance at his confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill last week. He'll speak to the Economic Club of Washington at noon New York time. New York Fed President William Dudley also has a public appearance his schedule today, though that doesn't come until after the markets close. He'll speak to a Columbia University audience at 5:45 pm.
As it did Friday, a strengthening dollar put pressure on stocks as the greenback hit a five-week high against the euro. Oil prices fell as well, dropping below $75 a barrel as OPEC ministers said they don't expect production levels to change and were comfortable with the current price levels.
Only one economic number is on the schedule for today and that doesn't come until 3 pm, when the government issues consumer credit figures for October. Economists think outstanding credit shrank by $10 billion during the month, compared with a drop of $14.8 billion in September.