U.S. stocks opened higher on Wednesday as investors eyed a continued rally in bond yields and looked ahead to data that could shed light on the timing of a rate hike. The Dow Jones industrial average gained more than 100 points in opening trade.
“Today is a little setting up for the retail sales number (tomorrow),” said JJ Kinahan, chief strategist at TD Ameritrade. He is watching for pickup in the ex-autos and ex-gasoline figure. “I think people are expecting a better number based on the jobs number and wage growth,” he said.
The U.S. 10-year Treasury yield traded above 2.47 percent in morning trade after hitting 2.49. The rally followed gains in the German 10-year bund yield to above 1 percent.
The euro rose to a three-week high at about $1.1387 on Wednesday, while the dollar fell to a two-week low against the yen after Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said the real effective exchange rate showed the Japanese currency is “very weak”.
The only data of note out Wednesday, total weekly mortgage application volume jumped 8.4 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis as buyers rushed to get mortgages ahead of rising rates.
“Before the Fed meeting (next Tuesday and Wednesday) there’s a dearth of (market-moving) economic data,” said Adam Sarhan, CEO of Sarhan Capital. “Until we get to next Wednesday I think techincals are front and center.”
He’s watching for the S&P 500 to hold above yesterday’s low of 2,072 and close near or above its 50-day moving average.
“If (bulls) don’t show up today and buy the dip, when will they?” he said. “If we open higher and close lower, that’s a bad sign, no doubt about it.”
The Dow Jones industrial average hasn’t closed above the psychologically key level of 18,000 for the last four trading sessions. The S&P has held within a range between 2,070 and 2,130 since early May.
“A bounce is unfolding among global equity markets this morning in reaction to widespread short-term oversold conditions,” BTIG Chief Technical Strategist Katie Stockton said in a note. “This is a bullish development, but we would like to see a strong finish to the week to confirm oversold ‘buy’ signals.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded up 85 points, or 0.48 percent, at 17,849.
The S&P 500 traded up 10 points, or 0.48 percent, at 2,090.
The Nasdaq traded up 16 points, or 0.32 percent, at 5,030.
In corporate news,
Netflix shareholders approved an increase in the company’s share authorization, the precursor to a stock split. There’s no indication yet for an exact ratio for the split.
Apple‘s newly announced Apple Music service is facing antitrust scrutiny from the attorneys general of New York and Connecticut. The probe will center on Apple’s negotiations with music companies on its paid subscription service.