Futures rise as Bernanke takes the stage

Investors await the Fed chief's Congressional testimony about the economy and monetary policy.

By Benzinga May 22, 2013 8:29AM

stock market zurbar age fotostockBy Tim Parker

U.S. markets reached another record high Tuesday as the Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) added 50 points and the S&P 500 ($INX) nearly three points. All eyes will be on Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's testimony at 10:00 a.m. ET Wednesday.

Morning news

  • Disney- (DIS) owned ESPN announced it will cut 300 to 400 jobs or 4%-6% of its workforce.

  • JPMorgan Chase (JPM) voted not to split the chairman and CEO roles.

  • Oklahoma tornado was listed as one of the top five costliest in history.

  • S&P 500 futures are up 1.75 points to 1667.25.

  • The EUR/USD was up at 0.19% to 1.293.

  • German 10-year government bond yields rose 1 basis point to 1.368%.

  • Italian 10-year government bond yields rose 2 basis points to 3.87%.

  • Gold was up 0.57% to $1,385.80 per ounce.

  • Click here for more of Benzinga's Top News stories

Asian markets

The Nikkei soared as the Bank of Japan left monetary policy unchanged. Bond yields were up 0.896% on the news and the Nikkei sat at 15627.26, up 1.6%. Other markets were mostly down. The Kopsi was up 0.64%, the Shanghai composite was down 0.21%, and the ASX 200, the Australian index, was down 0.28%.

European markets

European markets are lower this morning. The Spanish Ibex Index was down 0.61% and the Italian FTSE MIB Index was flat. Meanwhile, the German DAX was down 0.27% and the French CAC 40 shed 0.39% while the U.K. market was down 0.25%.


Oil was sharply lower overnight and metals were higher. WTI crude futures fell 0.53% to $95.67 per barrel while Brent crude futures fell 0.76% to $103.12 per barrel. Copper futures were up 1.09% to $338.00 and silver futures recovered from yesterday's selloff up 0.51% to $22.657 per ounce.

Corn prices fell to multi-week lows on reports that farmers are planting at a record pace after a late start to the planting season. Corn for July delivery sat at $6.40 per bushel.


The Japanese yen showed continued weakness against the dollar, falling to 102.92—a loss of 0.45% following the BOJ monetary policy announcements. The GBP/USD was down fractionally at 1.5086, and the EUR/USD was mostly unchanged 1.293.

Earnings reported Tuesday

  • Auto Zone (AZO) reported fiscal third quarter earnings per share of $7.27 versus consensus of $7.23. Revenues were $2.21 billion, slightly lower than analyst consensus of $2.22 billion.

  • Best Buy (BBY) reported first quarter earnings per share of $0.32 versus analyst consensus of $0.25. The company missed on revenue, reporting $9.38 billion versus estimates of $10.65 billion.

  • Home Depot (HD) reported first quarter earnings per share of $0.83 versus consensus of $0.75. Revenue came in at $19.1 billion. Analysts expected $18.67 billion.

  • Intuit (INTU) reported fiscal third quarter earnings per share of $2.97 versus consensus of $2.93. Revenues were in line at $2.18 billion.

Wednesday's earnings

  • Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) is expected to report earnings per share of $0.81 with revenues of $28.51 billion.

  • Lowes (LOW) is expected to report earnings per share of $0.51 with revenues of $13.49 billion

  • Limited Brands (LTD) is expected to report earnings per share of $0.46 with revenues of $2.25 billion.

  • Staples (SPLS) is expected to report earnings per share of $0.27 with revenues of $5.93 billion.

  • Target (TGT) is expected to report earnings per share of $0.86 on revenues of $16.85 billion

Premarket movers

Investors are hesitant to make big bets ahead of Bernanke's testimony this morning but here are stocks moving after hours.

  • Newmont Mining (NEM) is up 0.97% as gold remains volatile.

  • Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) is up 0.62% ahead of earnings.

  • Carnival Corp (CCL) is down 3.61% after lowering guidance.

  • Wells Fargo (WFC) is up 0.54% on overall sector strength.


Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will speak at 10:00 a.m. ET where he is expected to give dovish comments to Congress and quash rumors that the Fed is ready to cut back stimulus measures. Also on the calendar are existing home sales at 10:00 a.m. ET and the release of the FOMC minutes at 2:00 p.m. ET.

More from Benzinga

May 22, 2013 1:55PM
That the "economy is in the dumpster", to quote MG, is strictly due to CONgressional inaction, inefficiency and corruption.  Its really very simple.  If you are a CONgressperp, all that is required of you is:

1. Make tax law as lax as possible, then blame the Corporations for abusing them; and
2. See that a few tens of thousands who depend on SNAP as a lifeline are in need of of a cutoff
     because that was the sole cause of the Crisis of 2008;
3. Institute sequestration until it interferes with one's travel plans;
4. Question QE in a grandstanding manner, instead of passing a jobs bill which would obviate
    the necessity of QE5; and
5. Give myself a raise for all that 'hard work'  (you see, I did NOT vote in favor of that raise, folks...
    so you can still re-elect me for all my devotion to fiscal prudence)

CON-gress = 535 (with few exceptions) Major Night Show standup jokes.

May 22, 2013 10:49AM
Ben will keep trying to PRINT our way to prosperity. Never mind the inflation that destroys the savings and pay checks of the middle class.

While Ben is printing, Obama will continue to BORROW and SPEND our way out of Debt.

And of course the Democrats will continue trying to give other people's money to the poor via Taxation.  Thinking that stealing from one group to reward their voters will create prosperity.

And we wonder why the economy is in the dumpster?   
May 22, 2013 8:58AM
Help us Ben, help us.  Don't destroy the REITS.
May 22, 2013 9:41AM
Looks like Kramer is waiting for Bennie to speak, so we got Benzinga..
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