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NEW YORK

(T3Live.com)

-- U.S. markets look toward a strong open with the Dow up over 0.5% and the Nasdaq futures up 0.75%, as the U.S. economy improves, while high unemployment and low inflation call for continued support according to minutes from the latest Fed meeting.

American Superconductor

(AMSC) - Get Report

and

Oclaro

(OCLR) - Get Report

expect to miss revenue estimates later this year. During a TV interview,

Chevron

(CVX) - Get Report

CEO John Watson said he sees the company's refining business improving "significantly."

European stocks moved lower in early trading as investors sold shares ahead of Thursday's ECB rate announcement. Last week European banks dealt with stress tests --

Allied Irish Banks

(AIB)

and

Bank of Ireland

(IRE)

have seen significant rebounds with net deposit positions improving according to Ireland's finance minister.

Gold sits at record highs and silver at 31-year highs, providing protection for investors amid political and financial instability around world. Gold stocks are back on the radar with clear outperformance yesterday.

Goldcorp

(GG)

,

Nova Gold

(NG) - Get Report

and

Barrick Gold

(ABX)

all gained over 5% yesterday, while the precious metals only gained about 2%.

Randgold

(GOLD) - Get Report

is up 19% in the last week and

Yamana

(AUY) - Get Report

has a great technical set-up that potentially points to higher prices.

Retailers continue to outperform the general market, led by

Lululemon Athletica

(LULU) - Get Report

and

Under Armour

(UA) - Get Report

.

Abercrombie & Fitch

(ANF) - Get Report

hit new 52-week highs trading up over 12% on 4-times normal volume.

Piper Jaffrey

upgraded Everett, Washington based retailer

Zumiez

(ZUMZ) - Get Report

to "overweight" from "neutral."

Credit card stocks

Mastercard

(MA) - Get Report

and

Visa

(V) - Get Report

posted gains on news that Barney Frank supports a delay to amend swipe fee or interchange rules on credit and debit cards.

Investors will be looking closely at earnings announcements from

Monsanto

(MON)

, prior to market open and

Bed, Bath and Beyond

(BBBY) - Get Report

after the close.

Can the markets continue to move higher with a looming US government shutdown two days away?

Disclosures: Scott Redler is long AAPL, BAC, GLD, F, V, JPM, NG, AUY, RBY, ABX, XOM, LVS, FCX, SSYS, OIH, MSFT, LMT and short SPY. Marc Sperling is long PLCM, SNDK, LVS, AIG, ALU, BORN, REE, AVL, VDSI and short SPY.

This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.