Business Optimism Falls

The day has begun with a not-so-positive report from the National Federation of Independent Businesses revealing that its Small Business Optimism Index fell unexpectedly to 95 last month from its December level of 95.9. Analysts were looking for some improvement to 97. Later this morning, the BLS will publish its Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) and it is expected to describe a decrease in the number of Job Openings to 6.4M in December from the prior month’s 6.53M. Not a good sign. Also today, the Treasury begins the week’s refunding auctions with the sale of $58B Three-Year notes.

Treasuries are rallying in early trading with the Long Bond’s yield falling to 1.92% while the Ten-Year brings 1.15%. The Two-Year is little changed at 11 basis points. Yesterday’s long-end rally and short-end sell-off slightly flattened what has been an ever-steepening yield curve. Crude oil is little changed at $57.89 with gold rallying $13 to $1,844. Domestic equity indices are looking to open slightly weaker.