Stocks are climbing today, lifted by strong economic numbers and
diminished risk of war.
S&P 500 futures are up more than half a percent and stand near
their highs of the session after reports that Syria has accepted a
Russian proposal that the country surrender its chemical weapons.
European indexes climbed 1.5 percent to 2 percent. Shanghai, Tokyo,
Hong Kong, and Singapore all registered gains of about 1 percent
China's industrial production rose 10.4 percent in August, better
than the 9.9 percent forecast by economists. Retail sales and bank
lending also beat expectations. These releases add to a chorus of
data in recent weeks confirming that the world's key regions of
North America, Europe, and Asia have entered their strongest growth
phase since before the 2008 mortgage meltdown.
Countless stocks, however, are still near where they traded at the
darkest days of the crisis, triggering broad rallies in coal,
steel, and emerging-market equities. Ocean shipping stocks, perhaps
the most leveraged to a global expansion, have led the market with
an average 42 percent gain in the last month, according to our
proprietary researchLAB scanning tool.
Another positive in recent sessions has been reduced fears of
military action against Syria as lawmakers, voters, and
international leaders line up against the Obama administration. The
president will attempt once again to make the case for U.S. action
in a speech this evening after the market closes.
Today's other big event is a presentation by Apple, which is
expected to unveil two new iPhones in an event that begins at 1
p.m. ET. After that, the calendar is relatively free of events
until the release of European industrial production and initial
jobless claims Thursday morning.
The S&P 500 has managed to hold support at its 100-day moving
average all year, and the recent bounce occurred around that level.
It added another 1 percent yesterday, and further gains today could
propel it strongly above its 50-day moving average for the first
time in more than three weeks.
Diminished prospects for war are sending oil down by more than 1
percent despite China's strong industrial numbers. Gold and silver
are also retreating 1 percent to 2 percent. Copper, which tracks
sentiment toward the global economy more than other commodities,
has reversed earlier losses and is now slightly higher.
Agricultural foodstuffs are mixed.
Foreign-exchange markets are more clearly bullish as selling
continues in the safe-haven Japanese yen. The Australian and
Canadian dollars, also correlated to global growth, are rising
while the euro is little-changed.
In company-specific news, McDonald's rose more than 1 percent after
its sales for August came in much better than expected. Retailer
Five Below rallied 14 percent after reporting strong quarterly
results. Chinese coal miner L&L Energy is also up sharply on a
big increase in production and earnings.