*Stocks were mixed in Asian trade. The Nikkei and Australia lost a fraction while the Hang Seng gained one percent and Shanghai was up about 0.4%. European indexes are however broadly higher, with the Foostsie up about one and a quarter percent and the Dax is currently 0.8% better on the day. US stock futures are up about a half percent.
*The November reading of Australia’s Trade Balance narrowed to A$1.92 billion, down from A$2.56 billion the month before; the value of their coal exports were down on the month while the imported value of other fuels and aircraft was higher.
*The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index fell a fraction to 92.6, well below the point gain that was expected. Group economist William Dunkelberg writes that “Owners remain stubbornly cautious and uncertain about the future course of the economy and their business prospects.”
*The weekly report on chain store sales from ICSC showed a decline of 3.2% for the week ended January 8 on a week on week basis; the annualized results were down one tenth on the week to 3.5%. The Johnson Redbook report on the same thing is due out at 7:55am CST.
*The November reading of Wholesale Inventories is due out at 9:00am CST, it is expected to be +1.0% month on month.
*The Fed is scheduled to buy Treasuries today that are due to mature between 7/31/16 and 12/31/17; the results of the operation will be announced just after 10:00am CST.
*The Treasury plans to sell $32 billion 3 Year Notes today, the result of the auction will be announced just after noon CST.
*There are a couple of Fed speakers on the calendar today. Philly Fed’s Plosser will give his economic outlook at 7:30am CST and Minneapolis Fed boss Kocherlakota will deliver his economic forecast at 1:00pm CST.