Futures were slightly up when the European markets opened and got progressively better following good news out of Germany as its Sentiment Index unexpectedly rose. Meanwhile, positive comments from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke gave futures another lift higher which led to a strong open.
Bernanke hinted at another round of quantitative easing saying that “accommodative” monetary policy will be needed to make further progress in bringing down the unemployment rate. While he did say the improvements were a nice surprise, in the same breathe he also said they may not be sustainable without more action. This could be Bernanke’s last year as Fed Chairman, something that has been known, and this could be his “all-in” call.
On the flip side, the National Association of Realtors reported Pending Home Sales fell 0.5% in February after rising 2% in January. Specifically, sales declined in three of the four regions, with the Midwest seeing the only increase. This follows last week’s disappointing housing numbers for February and brings into questions just how strong the “recovery” is.
Despite the mixed headlines, the bulls have been able to push resistance but will it be enough to hold into the close?
The Dow is up 115 points to 13,196 while the S&P 500 is higher by 12 points to 1,409. The Nasdaq is showing a 36 point pop and is at 3,104. We have opened positions in a new trade today and we have raised some stops on our current call option trades that continue to perform well. Subscribers, check the Members Area for the updates.