Major averages gapped down yesterday at the open then clawed their way back to near breakeven on lower volume. Part of what spurred the rally was the president of the St. Louis Fed, James Bullard, suggesting the Fed should keep QE3 going past October. At the moment, the Fed is buying $15 billion in securities each month. Bullard said the Fed cannot "abide" the drop in inflation expectations seen in the Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities. "Maybe this is a juncture where we want to invoke this clause that it is data-dependent," Bullard said.
In light of Bullard's comments, investors will be paying close attention to Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen who will speak at 8:30 am Eastern Time though her topic will be on income inequality. Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren also speaks at the conference at 8:30 am though Rosengren is not a voting member of the Fed policy committee this year.
U.S. initial jobless claims tumbled to 264,000, the lowest level in nearly a decade and a half, showing that employers are laying off fewer workers. While on the surface, this sounds positive, the number of people giving up looking for work is significant, yet this number is not included in the unemployment rate which currently stands at 5.9%.
Futures are currently trading about 1.5% higher. The NASDAQ Composite would open at 4277, or 0.5% away from key resistance at its 200dma, and the S&P 500 would be about 0.8% away from its 200dma.