Morning Futures Briefing

Debt Ceiling Progress, Strong April Data Move Equity Futures, Yields Higher

Ahead of a three-day holiday weekend with debt ceiling talks reportedly gaining steam, equity futures rose and Treasury yields pushed slightly higher on strong inflation and durable goods data before the open.

Before the open, April U.S. Durable Goods orders rose an unexpected 1.1% against consensus for a 1% decline for the month and April’s PCE inflation, reportedly the Federal Reserve’s favorite inflation measure, rose by an above-expectations 0.4% month over month.

The 10-year Treasury yield (TNX) stood at 3.824% near the open while the 2-year Treasury yield moved under 4.5% for the first time in 10 days. Treasuries have been rising over the past month over concerns that a possible failure by Washington legislators to raise the government’s debt limit by June 1 could force a first-ever default on payments by the U.S. government.

Bloomberg reported early Friday that Republican and White House negotiators are closer to an agreement to raise the nation’s debt limit and cap federal spending for two years.

A rising U.S. Dollar has been a headwind for multinational companies now struggling to sell U.S. products at higher cost to foreign buyers.  The U.S. Dollar Index stood at 104 this morning.

A rising greenback also typically puts precious metals at risk. Gold was trading this morning at $1,970, breaking the support level of 1995 this week as the dollar strengthened. Silver traded down to $22.75 in the overnight session and Copper has been in a downward price channel and recently price broke below the support level. Prices of Copper reached $3.53 this week but was up a little this morning at $3. 66.

As reports circulated that U.S. lawmakers were moving closer to a deal to raise the debt ceiling, stock futures turned upward with the S&P 500® (+0.25%), the Nasdaq-100® (+0.47%),  the Dow Jones Industrial Average® (+0.20%) and the Russell 2000® (+0.32%) all higher.

In Asia, the major indices finished mixed with the Nikkei (+0.37%) and the Shanghai (+0.35%) higher but the Hang Seng (–1.93%) closing lower.

European trading gained by midday with the DAX (+0.28%), the CAC (+0.47%), and the FTSE (+0.28%) all ahead.

Futures on the move:

Grains rebounded a little overnight, though Corn and Soybeans hovered near 52-week lows. Wheat recovered from a 52-week low of 594 and was trading at 612.75 early Friday.

Euro futures were slightly up, (+0.25%) but trading near two-month lows.

Feeder Cattle futures hit highs at 235.50 and Live Cattle traded above a major resistance of 165.94. Live Cattle prices are now at 167.375 with 52-week highs not far away at 169.42. Herds continue to shrink with limited grazing opportunities and hay prices rising.

What else to watch today:

Major economic reports, trading events, and news items that could potentially impact specific futures markets:


  • University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment, April final numbers (Stock index futures)

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