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
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.