Markets will be focused on European Central Bank president Mario Draghi's comments, as the governing council meets today to set monetary policy. Consensus looks for a reiteration of the ECB's commitment to inject additional stimulus, as required. The ECB did decide to leave interest rates unchanged. This comes on the tail of Markit's final Eurozone August Composite PMI, which was just released and came in at 54.3 -- the highest it's been since May of 2011.This figure indicates rising growth from both the manufacturing and services sectors.
Mercifully, the Chinese equity markets are closed both today and tomorrow for a holiday, which gives other global markets a chance to breathe -- and set their own market momentum for a couple of days -- without being subject to wild movements in the Chinese stock markets. With that in mind, U.S. equity futures were mildly higher this morning.
Some earnings reports of interest today include: Joy Global (JOY), Ciena (CIEN), Medtronic (MDT), Campbell Soup (CPB), Methode Electronics (MEI), Cooper (COO), VeriFone (PAY), Infoblox (BLOX), UTi Worldwide (UTIW) and Esterline Technologies (ESL).
The market is bracing for the Initial Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m. ET, which will set the tenor for the day. Consensus is at 275,000. The July Trade Balance will also be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. The August Markit US Composite PMI will hit the tape at 10 a.m. ET along with the August ISM Non-Manufacturing Composite, with consensus at 58.2. At 10:30 a.m. ET, we will see the EIA natural-gas storage change.