Stocks advance amid strong data


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Stocks are inching higher today after holding their ground last week and as data show an increasingly strong economy.

S&P 500 futures rose about 0.25 percent and are near their highs of the morning. Europe is posting similar gains following strong German factory orders and as investors anticipate lower interest rates. Asia fell in the overnight session, led by declines in Bangkok.

The S&P 500 has paused in the last week after a blistering run in the previous two weeks but managed to remain above its 10-day moving average. It also held support above the 1750 level, where it consolidated earlier in the month. That suggests the bullish uptrend remains intact.

The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index and Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index both beat estimates last week, indicating the recent government shutdown did less harm to the economy than initially feared. Bond yields rose as a result, along with industrial, transport and consumer stocks.

Strength has shifted away from energy, materials and international stocks during that time. Another trend appears to be a rotation out of the small-cap Russell 2000 index and into the Nasdaq-100. That's playing out again this morning, with the NDX indicated up almost 0.4 percent while RUT futures are gaining just 0.2 percent.

The next big calendar item is Chinese manufacturing data after the closing bell this evening. Today's only event in the United States is the release of relatively unimportant factory orders for August and September. Earnings come from companies such as CME Group and Sysco this morning, followed in the afternoon by energy names such as Anadarko Petroleum, Marathon Oil, Newfield Exploration and Pioneer Natural Resources. Fertilizer maker CF Industries also reports this afternoon.

Attention later this week will focus on the first reading of third-quarter gross domestic product on Thursday and October non-farm payrolls Friday.

Currencies are modestly bullish today, with the euro, Australian dollar and Canadian dollar higher while the Japanese yen is mostly down. Commodities are weaker as copper and oil decline about half a percent, while precious metals are little-changed.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Options

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