Atlanta, GA 5/21/12 (StreetBeat) -- Stocks were mostly higher in Asian trade; with relatively small changes. Australia added two thirds of a percent, the Nikkei gained a quarter percent and Shanghai rose a slight fraction; but the Hang Seng fell a slight fraction on the day. European indexes are mixed; the Footsie is up 0.7% and the Dax is better by one percent. US stock futures are up about a half to three quarters of a percent as I write.
*In April Swiss Consumer Confidence rose to -8 from -19 the month before; it is the best result of the year and much better than the expected result of -15.
*Over the weekend the G8 agreed at Camp David that it is imperative to improve global growth and create jobs, but that this should happen within that context of fiscal consolidation and, furthermore, that this neat trick should be done at a pace that is appropriate for each individual country. They also agreed that Greece should remain in the Euro Zone, but that this should be done in the context of them fulfilling their commitments; also a neat trick.
*Atlanta Fed boss Lockhart spoke earlier today in Tokyo. He said he doesn’t think that current circumstances are such that another round of QE is necessary. But he added that although it may be popular to rule out a further round of monetary stimulus he does not think this option should be taken off the table and that it would work under the right circumstances.
*The April reading of the Chicago Fed National Activity Index is due out at 7:30am CDT; it was -0.29 in March, no estimate is provided.
*The Fed is scheduled to buy Treasuries today that are due to mature between 2/15/36 and 5/15/42; the results of the operation will be announced just after 10:00am CDT.