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Premarket: S&P 500 heads for fresh record, commodities dip Add to ...

The S&P 500 is likely to edge to a fresh record intraday high as trading gets underway this morning amid a positive tone in overseas equity markets. The resource-heavy TSX, however, is poised to open flat or even slightly negative given softness in commodity prices.

It won't take much for the benchmark U.S. index to make another entry into the record books. The S&P 500 closed at 1,617.50 on Monday, just a couple points away from its high point of the day and its strongest level ever during a trading session. That, of course, doesn't take into account inflation; the index would actually have to gain another 25 per cent to reach record highs when that is factored in, notes Mark Hulbert of MarketWatch.

More Related to this Story

There is little in the way of fresh economic data to drive markets today, so traders will be largely left to continue the debate on whether stock valuations are still modest enough to justify further price gains. The bulls appear to have the upper hand for now, but we'll hear what two of the market's best known bears, David Rosenberg and Marc Faber, have to say during a live discussion at 1 p.m. (ET) at Inside the Market.

Japanese stocks soared overnight, playing catch up to the rally in other global indexes after being closed for a four-day holiday. The Nikkei rose 3.5 per cent to its highest level since June 2008. Australia, whose resource-rich economy has many similarities to Canada and has been hurt by this year's slide in commodity prices and slowdown in Chinese growth, unexpectedly cut interest rates overnight by a quarter point to 2.75 per cent. It added to evidence that central banks across the world will do what it takes to keep economies chugging along. 

European stocks are firmer this morning, receiving support from a fresh report that showed German factory orders in March jumping by a seasonally adjusted 2.2 per cent from February, far surpassing economists' expectations for 0.5 per cent decline. The euro rose about a quarter of a cent on the report to $1.3113 per U.S. That weakness in the greenback this morning is keeping commodity prices in the red.

Now, here's a look at what else is happening this morning and what's to come.

MARKETS:

Equities:

U.S. futures: S&P Toronto -0.30 per cent; S&P 500 +0.14 per cent; Dow +0.23 per cent; Nasdaq +0.23 per cent

Hong Kong's Hang Seng +0.58 per cent

Shanghai composite index +0.22 per cent

Japan's Nikkei +3.55 per cent

London’s FTSE 100 +0.42 per cent

Germany’s DAX +0.84 per cent

France's CAC 40 +0.41 per cent

Italy's FTSE MIB +1.17 per cent

Commodities:

WTI crude oil (Nymex Jun) -0.53 per cent at $95.65 (U.S.) a barrel

Gold (Comex Jun) -0.56 per cent at $1,459.80 (U.S.) an ounce

Silver (Comex July) -1.27 per cent at $23.65 an ounce.

Copper (Comex July) -0.06 per cent at $3.31 (U.S.) a pound

Currencies:

Canadian dollar up 0.0021, or 0.21 per cent, at $0.9953 (U.S.)

ECONOMIC INDICATORS TO WATCH:

No major reports due

STOCKS TO WATCH:

WestJet Airlines Ltd. reported a quarterly profit of 68 cents a share, improving from 49 cents a year ago, and beating many analysts' expectations.

Other earnings today include: Aecon Group Inc.; AEterna Zentaris Inc.; CI Financial Corp.; Emera Inc.; Fortis Inc.; George Weston Ltd.; GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Ltd.; High Liner Foods Inc.; Husky Energy Inc.; Iamgold Corp.; Kinross Gold Corp.; Lafarge SA; Marathon Oil Corp.; Molson Coors Brewing Co.; Nova Chemicals Corp.; Paramount Resources Ltd.; Walt Disney Co.; and Williams Cos. Ltd.

THIS MORNING'S TOP INVESTING READS ON THE WEB:

Floating rate bonds will protect you from the downside if the credit market starts tumbling, as has been forecast for years. But there are negatives to know about these securities as well.  

A look at the top bond bulls and the top bond bears - and what each has to say about where the credit market is heading.

Three U.S. stocks with dividends greater than 5 per cent that still aren't on investors' radar.

U.S. corporate bond yields are hitting record lows and their spread to treasuries is no longer declining.

In case you missed it, last Sunday's 60 Minutes piece on billionaire trader Paul Tudor Jones.

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The premarket report is constantly updated to reflect the latest news developments and market moves. For instant headlines on breaking economic and corporate news in the premarket, follow Darcy Keith on Twitter at @eyeonequities.

Follow on Twitter: @eyeonequities

 
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