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Stocks edge higher as oil and gold hit highs

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Traders are looking at a modestly higher open as oil and gold futures trade contract highs ahead of Secretary of State Colin Powell's address to the United Nations.

S&P futures (sp03h) are gaining 1 point to 850.30, NASDAQ futures (nd03h) are gaining 3.5 points to 978.50, while Dow futures (dj03h) creep into positive territory by 5 points at 8,025.

Fair value for the S&P 500 today is $0.05. That price will not change during the session. HL Camp & Company has their computers set for program buying at $0.10 and set for program selling at $-2.52. Fair value for the NASDAQ-100 today is $1.37.

The U.S. Dollar Index (dx00y) 99.02 -0.12% is marginally lower in this morning's early trade, while Treasuries see modest selling with the 10-year Treasury futures (ty03h) 114'085 -0.14% off fractionally, as the benchmark bond's YIELD ($TNX.X) edges up to yield 3.965%. The slight selling in Treasuries, combined with modest morning weakness in the dollar gives equities their slight positive ticks higher and has the look of a market that is going to try and wait things out ahead of Colin Powell's address.

While broader market equity and bond traders look to be taking a cautious approach to things this morning, that hasn't been the case in the oil and gold futures pits.

March light, sweet crude (cl03h) $33.76 +0.53% rose to a contract high of $33.98 as tensions look to be building in the futures pits ahead of Colin Powell's speech. Morning news that Colin Powell isn't going to produce a "smoking gun" regarding Iraq's President Saddam Hussein has done little to calm traders thoughts regarding potential supply issues if a war evolves in the Middle East.

February Gold (gc03g) 382.50 +0.92% surged to a contract high of $388.90 in overnight trade. While there was little news to provide the surge higher, trading here simply looks like a supply/demand issue for the contract with expiration nearing.

Networking giant Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) $13.20 is seeing some upside action at $13.32, which would be just under its longer-term 200-day SMA of $13.54 after last nights second quarter earnings announcement. While the company beat bottom line estimates by 2-cents a share when it reported quarterly earnings per share of $0.15, on revenue of $4.71 billion (consensus $4.73 billion), the company guided upcoming Q3 revenue below consensus, saying it expects Q3 revenues to be flat to down slightly. Cisco's CEO John Chambers said he is more cautious going into Q3 than he was going into Q2 in what he described as being one of the most challenging environments seen.

Jeff Bailey

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