European stocks are negative in early trading, despite Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou's victory in a confidence vote to solidify his new government, potentially paving the way for austerity measures, thus securing international aid to avoid a default.
The Stoxx Europe 600 benchmark is down 0.5% after posting the largest gain in two-months, while the Greek confidence vote helped Asian and emerging market indices advance for consecutive days.
U.S. stock futures are trading below yesterday's close, down 0.3% ahead of a mid-day Federal Reserve announcement and Ben Bernanke's press conference on interest rates, the end of QE2 and the potential for more stimulus measures. This will be the second-ever press conference by Ben Bernanke, as reporters, investors and traders will be dissecting his comments for clues on his economic outlook and potential shifts in Fed policy.
Most commodities are sinking in early trading, dragged lower by copper futures, down 0.5% and the
iShares Silver Trust ETF
, down nearly 1%. Crude oil futures are also negative ahead of a U.S. government report that may show stockpiles of crude declined less than expected. Any such data has bearish potential for crude (as well as the growth outlook for the American economy).
is sliding 1% before the bell after forecasting profit that fell short of analyst's estimates, while
is up almost 2.5% on strong fourth quarter earnings and a positive outlook.
Technology stocks bounced back in big way yesterday with
all up over 3% on the day. Chinese internet stocks saw outsized gains with
up 8% and
up 6%. Traders will be looking for these stocks to show sustained leadership.
While lower trading profits and potential layoffs plague large banks like
Bank of America
, regional banks like
appear to be providing opportunities with decent technical set-ups.
Other stocks that traders will be looking at include metal stocks like
, both up over 5%, as well as
Research in Motion
, up 9%, and
, up 3%. The recent weakness in these companies makes them potential takeover targets. High-flying consumer discretionary stocks like
Chipotle Mexican Grill
also posted huge gains in yesterday's session.
Disclosures: Scott Redler is long SPY, APPL, BAC, JPM, AMZN, CRM
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.