Stocks are edging lower this morning, continuing their pullback
from record levels yesterday.
S&P 500 futures are off less than 0.2 percent. European markets
are down slightly more, led by the more-volatile Italian and
Spanish indexes. Asia was modestly lower in the overnight session.
The S&P 500 fell almost 0.4 percent yesterday after trading
above 1800 for the first time ever. Billionaire and veteran
investor Carl Icahn partially triggered the selling by saying he
was "very cautious on equities," adding: "This market could easily
have a big drop."
Stocks have been advancing all year as money comes off the
sidelines, supported by an improving economy and low interest
market scanner shows that economically sensitive sectors such as
transports, industrials and consumer discretionaries have led in
the last month.
There also seems to be a shift recently toward international and
emerging market stocks--especially China, South Korea, and India.
The Nasdaq 100 and Russell 2000 small-cap index have lagged.
Earnings are the main items to guide sentiment this week. Home
Depot is indicated to open at new all-time highs after reporting
strong results and raising guidance. Best Buy and Urban Outfitters
are down after saying that promotions will hurt margins this
holiday season. Trina Solar is surging more than 10 percent,
continuing the wave of positive news in the green-energy space.
Bank of Japan releases its monetary policy this evening, followed
by U.S. retail sales tomorrow morning and minutes from the last
Federal Reserve meeting tomorrow afternoon.
Commodities and currencies are mixed today. Oil is down
fractionally, but copper and the Australian dollar are both edging
higher--a sign of confidence in the global economy. The euro,
Japanese yen, and precious metals are up slightly, while most
agricultural products are lower.