Stocks and exchange traded funds (ETFs) are moving higher this morning and adding to the big gains made this week, despite a mixed trade report. Traders are also keeping an eye on what the dollar is doing.
The trade deficit unexpectedly narrowed in August as exports notched a slight gain and imports plummeted on declining demand for foreign oil. The deficit rose 3.5%, which surprised economists who expected that higher oil prices would raise the deficit, reports Martin Crutsinger for the Associated Press. Economists still expect the deficit to rise in coming months.
The U.S. dollar his risen to session highs this morning against the yen. The rally was set off by comments made by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, indicating that monetary policy would tighten as the recovery takes place. PowerShares DB US Dollar Bullish (NYSEArca: UUP) is up 0.6% this morning.
Corn and soybean crops are being forecast for record harvests, even though there were concerns earlier that a cold growing season would shrink the crops, the Associated Press reports. Corn production is predicted to be up 8% from 2008, and soybeans are forecast to be up 10% from 2008. PowerShares DB Agriculture (NYSEArca: DBA) is up about 0.6% this morning. The fund holds corn and soybean futures. (DBA is going through changes. Read about them here).
No major earnings are in the pipeline for today, but next week should be a busy one. Reports are scheduled from Intel (NasdaqGS: INTC), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), Citigroup (NYSE: C), Google (NasdaqGS: GOOG), Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) and General Electric (NYSE: GE).
The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.