It was with sadnessthat I began my daily routine of writing The Oxen Report. The great Democrat and the final surviving child of the nine children in the politically famedKennedy family, Ted Kennedy, died this morning at age 77 after a long battle with brain cancer. He was a Senator for over forty years and instrumental in passing numbers of important civil rights and disabilities’ legislation.

The markets today appear to be ready for a pullback with futures as of 7:40 AM showing the Dow down about twenty points and the Nasdaq down a bit over two points. The market will be directed more at 8:30 AM with the release of the Core Durable Good and Durable Good Order reports. These reports measure how many orders were placed for a number of manufactured goods, such as cars and appliances. The numbers are expected to jump in the month due to Cash for Clunkers.

On the economic data front, there will also be a new home sales report being released at 10:00 AM and crude inventories at 10:30 AM. Oil prices slipped in Asia overnight to above $72 a barrel on what appears worries that the price is too high for weaker demand. Additionally, on the crude front, Russia’s giant oil producer, Gazprom, reported a 62% drop in revenue in their Q1 of this FY. The Russian economy has been suffering since the decline in oil prices and global meltdown. This report helped to signify how hurt the country has been.

That data may have helped spurn a European wide pullback, with almost every major European index trading down over 0.5%.

On the earnings side, the most exciting earnings are definitely done.