Stocks are hovering before the key non-farm payrolls report
later this hour.
S&P 500 futures have been oscillating on either side of
unchanged since closing modestly higher yesterday. European markets
are posting small losses and Asia was mixed in the overnight
session, with most indexes gaining except for Japan's Nikkei.
Thailand and India continue to recover from major selloffs.
Profit-taking and concerns about conflict with Syria drove the
S&P 500 lower in August, making it only the second negative
month since November. It's been trying to bounce at its 100-day
moving average for the last week as investors focus on indications
of strong growth from around the world.
In addition to Syria, the market is concerned about the Federal
Reserve halting a program of buying Treasury bonds to prop up the
economy. That worry has driven interest rates to their highest
levels in more than two years.
It also increases the importance of the employment report at 8:30
a.m. ET today because a strong reading could be viewed as leading
to higher interest rates and therefore trigger selling. Economists
on average predict that 177,000 jobs were added last month, up from
162,000 in July. The unemployment rate is expected to remain
unchanged at 7.4 percent.
Despite the S&P 500 being down 3 percent in the last month,
optionMONSTER's proprietary researchLAB market scanner shows
capital flowing into groups such as ocean-shippers, coal miners,
iron-ore producers, and energy stocks--all of which benefit from a
stronger global economy. Transports have also outperformed.
Copper, another bellwether of global growth, is climbing more than
1 percent this morning, while oil is up half a percent.
Agricultural foodstuffs are modestly higher, and precious metals
Trading is more mixed in the foreign-exchange markets, with the
Japanese yen rebounding from recent declines. While that's normally
bearish, the Australian dollar--also correlated with the global
economy--is continuing to rebound from long-term lows.
In company-specific news, Finisar is indicated up more than 7
percent after issuing a strong outlook for the current quarter. The
news follows similar comments by Ciena, confirming that big telecom
carriers are increasing capital expenditures. Metal-products
company Timken is also rallying on plans to split into two
companies, and surf-wear company Quicksilver is up 17 percent on
strong quarterly results.
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