Stocks are drifting higher today as short-term momentum remains
bullish heading into Labor Day.
S&P 500 futures are up 0.3 percent, while the Nasdaq 100 is
indicated higher by more than 0.4 percent. Markets also gaining
about 1 percent across the Atlantic after European Central Bank
President Mario Draghi signaled late Friday that he's willing to
use monetary stimulus to counter slow growth. Asia was mixed
The S&P 500 has been rallying in the last two weeks after
touching support at its 100-day moving average in early August.
Traders now face a week that's likely to have light volume because
of the Labor Day holiday next Monday, Sept. 1, though there are
some important catalysts: New-home sales come out at 10 a.m. ET
today, durable-goods orders are released tomorrow, and revised
second-quarter gross domestic product follows Thursday. Several
retailers announce earnings as well.
Economic data has remained strong in the United States, most
recently highlighted by strong housing data. But Europe has
struggled, driving the euro to its lowest levels in almost a year.
Draghi's policy response could be increasingly important to
sentiment going forward because U.S. central bankers may resist
raising interest rates when Europe is easing.
Merger activity is back in focus for company-specific news today.
InterMune surged 36 percent after accepting an $8.3 billion
takeover by Roche. Tim Horton's and Burger King both gained more
than 15 percent on news they may combine. Ann also rose 2 percent
after activist investors Engine Capital and Red Alder said the
retailer was undervalued and should consider strategic
Chinese Internet stock Qihoo 360 Technology is down almost 5
percent despite strong quarterly results. U.S. Steel also gained 3
percent after being upgraded two notches by Credit Suisse to
"outperform" from "underperform."
Transportation-related stocks such as airlines, oil tankers,
railroad suppliers, ocean shippers, and car-rental stocks have led
the market higher during its rebound in the last two weeks. Our
analytics tool also shows money flowing into stocks associated with
housing, plus retailers and solar-energy. Energy has struggled.
Oil is fractionally higher this morning and is trying to halt its
two-month slide. Copper also gained about 0.3 percent, remaining
bullish after major trading shop Glencore said last week demand was
improving for the metal. Precious metals are little-changed, and
agricultural products are mixed.
Euro weakness remains the dominant theme in foreign-exchange
markets, with the common currency once again down across the
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