U.S. stock futures are positive in early trading on news that the Obama administration may temporarily cut payroll taxes for businesses to spur hiring. The news comes ahead of a report on jobless claims, as investors hope to avoid another disappointing economic data point weighing against the U.S. recovery.
Asian stocks extended their downtrend with the MSCI Asia Pacific Index falling 0.4% on the session. The benchmark was dragged lower by Nintendo, down 4% after a
Tokyo Electric Power
, down 4% and weakness in leading exporters like
Li & Fung
Meanwhile, the Euro currency strengthened against the U.S. dollar, on reports that the European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet threatened to raise interest rates after German Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schaueble, suggested bondholders take a hit in any new bailout of Greece. The Stoxx Europe 600 benchmark is flat on the session.
Strong Euro and weak U.S. dollar gave the precious metals a push with silver futures gaining 1.2%, the
iShares Silver Trust ETF
up 0.5%, while gold futures and the
SPDR Gold Trust ETF
remain flat. Crude oil rallies for a third straight day, after OPEC failed to agree on an output quota for the first time in 20 years, possibly limiting supply as U.S. inventories fell more than forecasts.
Oil stocks have demonstrated relative strength with the
Oil Service HOLDRS ETF
holding support for a third straight day at $147, while the
SPDR S&P 500 ETF
made lower lows this week. The contrast is even more drastic against other industry ETFs such as the
iShares Dow Jones Transport Average
, all making lower lows this week.
Semiconductor HOLDRS ETF
, also making lower lowers this week, could be under additional pressure after
pre-announced disappointing earnings and lowered guidance. The
Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF
fell in sympathy with
as they sold off after the U.S. Senate rejected a delay of the Fed's debit-card swipe fee caps. Meanwhile, retailers were led lower by
Abercrombie & Fitch
Chinese internet stocks are positive in pre-market trading after another day of double digit losses by
also broke down below Tuesday's lows as it approaches support at $120. Large-cap tech stocks like
initially sold off, but rebounded later in the day.
Disclosures: Scott Redler has no positions.
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.