Stocks are retreating from all-time highs before a flood of
economic news next week.
S&P 500 futures are down about 0.4 percent, tracking losses of
a similar magnitude in Europe. Asia was mostly lower in the
overnight session, led by a 3 percent drop in Tokyo. Commodities
tied to economic growth are also down, while the Japanese yen is
rallying--common patterns when risk-aversion takes hold.
Oil and silver are down by almost 1 percent this morning, while
copper fell almost 1.5 percent. The euro is modestly lower, but the
big move in the foreign-exchange market is the broad strength in
the Japanese yen.
In company-specific news, coffee chain Starbucks rose almost 7
percent after reporting strong quarterly results. Vertex
Pharmaceuticals is down and Gilead Sciences is up after VRTX
announced a setback in the development of an experimental hepatitis
C drug. Zynga fell after abandoning efforts to profit from online
gambling, Activision shot higher on news it was buying back a
majority stake from Vivendia, and Amazon is edging lower on a weak
The S&P 500 has spent the last two weeks vying with its May 22
peak, never managing to break more than 0.7 percent above its
previous high. Attention has focused on corporate results during
that time, but now macroeconomic is coming back.
It starts with consumer confidence and the Case-Shiller index of
home prices next Tuesday, followed by second-quarter gross domestic
product, private-sector payrolls, and the Federal Reserve's
interest-rate announcement on Wednesday. The following session
brings the Institute for Supply Management's key monthly index and
monetary policy from the European Central Bank. The week climaxes
with non-farm payrolls on Friday morning.
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