U.S. trading indicates more positive sentiment

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U.S. stocks opened 1% higher today after a broad fall last week. Markets are looking forward to a number of key earnings results ahead today.

Earnings and data release

Though analysts have projected a sharp decline in earnings this quarter, there are still hopes that the overall picture will not come in as bad as expected. During the pre-market session, Dow futures gained 250 points though they are down from those highs, sending signs of positive market momentum. Key financial earnings were positive from Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC), with Charles Schwab Corp (NYSE:SCHW) set to follow.

Today marks the first trading session of the week as U.S. markets remained closed yesterday for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) and Linear Technology Corporation (NASDAQ:LLTC) are expected to release earnings following market close. The important NAHB housing index data will also be published today.

China Disappoints; Oil off lows

China’s economy grew 6.9% in 2015 as compared to 7.3% a year earlier, marking the largest decline in a quarter. China’s economy losing steam has become a major concern for investors globally given the dependence of the global economy on China. Meanwhile, analysts are anticipating more stimulus measures from China’s Central Bank if growth breaches the 6.8% mark.

Oil bounced today back above $30 a barrel, though it remains to be seen if this is simply a technical bounce. Pessimism in the oil markets have made $20 oil a serious possibility, given Iran’s reentrance into the oil market following the lifting of international sanctions.

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