Bernanke Speaks Today: Market Happenings for Friday, August 31, 2012

Premarket futures are up as we all await Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke’s speech later in the day. Gainers this morning include SAI (+7.96%), GLW, AN, CLF and FSLR while losers include XRX (-0.95%), JDSU and CCL.

The Market

Bernanke will give his highly anticipated speech on the economy in Jackson Hole, Wyo. at 10 a.m. ET. Investors are hoping for hints about the possibility of new stimulus measures, like maybe a new round of quantitative easing. Wall Street would also like Bernanke to be bold, and make a statement about future policy.

ECB President Mario Draghi (who is skipping out on Jackson Hole) wrote in an op-ed this week that “exceptional measures” may be justified to stabilize financial markets. The European Central Bank will hold its next policy meeting on Sept. 6, and investors are wanting to hear Draghi’s plans.

European stocks are up in morning trade and Asian markets ended down.

The national average price of gasoline is up three-tenths of a cent to $3.829 per gallon and is 9.9 cents higher than a week ago.

Earnings Reports

Earnings reports (estimates): TOO-Teekay Offshore (Consensus $0.26).

Financial Calendar

0945 ET Aug Chicago purchasing managers index expected -0.4 to 53.3, July +0.8 to 53.7.

0955 ET Final-Aug U.S. consumer confidence index (University of Michigan) expected unchanged at 73.6, early-Aug +1.3 to 73.6.

1000 ET Fed Chairman Bernanke speaks at Fed conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

1000 ET July factory orders expected +2.0%, June -0.5% m/m.

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