Equities and bond yields have ... er, bonded together in a zero-sum game, and right now Wall Street puts the score for stocks at zero.
Futures are pointing down after yields on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note broke through 5.25 percent for the first time in almost a year. What's hammering the price of Treasuries - and freaking out so many investors - is the prospect of higher interest rates worldwide. Higher rates would make stock dividends less appealing and raise borrowing costs.
This could curb corporate and consumer spending - and put the brakes on the mergers and acquisitions boom that has kept Wall Street climbing these past months. But the dollar, which loves rate hikes, is up against a fistful of major currencies. With a thin economic and corporate agenda, investors have little to do but obsess about what the central banks will be doing. International trade data is due before the opening bell.
Oil prices have fallen as Oman resumes exports after the cyclone there lost power. London Brent crude is below $70.50. And if the supply of a different kind of oil holds, Burger King says it expects the fast-food industry to be trans fat-free by the end of 2008
Lisa Von Ahn - Editor