The markets were mixed in Asia overnight. Japan’s Nikkei index was relatively flat, climbing less than a tenth of a percent after a sharp decline yesterday. The index has rallied since November and now traders are expressing concern that a massive round of stimulus spending may overheat the economy. The Hang Seng dropped fractionally while the S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.38 percent.
The European markets were also mixed heading into the opening bell in New York City. The Stoxx 50 and the FTSE 100 were in the green while Germany’s DAX was off just about 5 basis points. Brent crude was up about half a percent to $110.25 per barrel.
Futures at 8:00 a.m.: S&P: +0.18%, Dow: +0.12%, NASDAQ: +0.26%.
1) After giving a speech titled “Ending ‘Too Big to Fail,'” Dallas Federal Reserve President Richard Fischer told reporters that he believes the Fed’s ongoing asset-purchasing program “is increasingly having a lesser impact as we go through time.”
His comments come after the central Fed pledged to keep purchasing $85 billion in Treasury and mortgage-backed bonds last month until U-3 unemployment dropped to 6.5 percent, and as long as the economic engine didn’t heat up beyond 2.5 percent inflation. Minutes of the Fed’s December 11-12 meeting showed that several members believed the much-questioned policy should come to an end this year. With the official unemployment rate not expected to drop below 7 percent this year, it’s unclear how long the bond-buying program will last…