Stock Index Futures Rise
STOCK INDEX FUTURES
Stock index futures are higher due to a better tone to the global banking sector.
The 9:30 central time March Dallas Federal Reserve manufacturing index is expected to be -11.0.
Futures have held up well considering recent strains in the international financial system.
Bank lending to euro zone companies slowed for the fourth consecutive month, according to European Central Bank data. Lending to businesses increased 5.7% in February after a 6.1% gain a month earlier, while household credit growth slowed to 3.2% from 3.6%.
Business sentiment in Germany edged up in March for a fifth straight month. The Ifo business climate index increased to 93.3 in March from 91.1 in February, according to data from the Ifo Institute. Economists predicted the index would decline slightly to 90.9.
The index assessing the short-term outlook improved to 91.2 from 88.4, while the indicator gauging current conditions also improved to 95.4 from 93.9. The Ifo index is based on a poll of approximately 9,000 companies in manufacturing, services, trade and construction.
U.K. retailers reported their first positive sales expectations in seven months, according to a survey published by the Confederation of British Industry. The CBI’s anticipated sales balance for April increased to +9 from -18 in March.
INTEREST RATE MARKET FUTURES
Futures are lower across the board as some flight to quality longs are liquidated.
However, underlying support remains due to the belief that central banks will not be able to keep raising interest rates for long.
The Treasury will auction two-year notes.
Phillip Jefferson of the Federal Reserve will speak at 5:00.
The technicals and fundamentals for futures have become more supportive since March 3.
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