Stocks are higher this morning, bouncing from a two-day pullback
as investors prepare for a heavy slate of earnings.
S&P 500 futures are up about one-third of a percent, matching
Europe's gains. Asia was mostly positive overnight as Shanghai and
Tokyo climbed almost 1 percent. Overseas markets were
little-changed on Monday, when trading was closed in the United
States for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Today's reports include Johnson & Johnson, Travelers, Verizon,
Delta Air Lines, Halliburton, and Forest Laboratories before the
opening bell. IBM, Texas Instruments, CA, Advanced Micro Devices,
Xilinx, and Adtran follow in the afternoon. There are no major
economic releases this week.
The S&P 500 is attempting to hold support at its 10-day moving
average, a potential sign that sentiment remains positive with the
index less than 1 percent below last Wednesday's all-time high.
Technology stocks and the Nasdaq have started to stand out
recently, but no single sector or index has clearly
dominated--testimony to the broad nature of the bull market. The
Nasdaq outperforming again, and is up more than half a percent this
Financials dominated last week's earnings calendar and painted a
picture of improving credit fundamentals but limited growth
prospects. Retail continued to struggle following a poor
FRX is up almost 8 percent after beating estimates and raising
guidance. DAL and TRV rose 3 percent and almost 1 percent
respectively on strong reports. HAL is also climbing almost 2
percent as increased oil production outside the U.S. lifted
business. VZ is climbing as well.
Energy is higher, while most other commodities are lower. Brent
crude oil rose 1.25 percent after the International Energy Agency
cited increased global demand, compared with a 0.25 percent gain
for West Texas Intermediate. That price differential is potentially
bullish for refinery stocks. Natural gas also rose almost 1
Gold and copper are down more than half a percent and silver
declined almost 2 percent. Agricultural products are also weak.
The main stories in foreign-exchange markets are U.S. dollar
strength and weakness in the Japanese yen.
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