Stocks edge lower from record peaks


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Equities are falling slightly today after pausing at record highs yesterday.

S&P 500 futures are down less than 0.2 percent, tracking similar moves in Europe. Asian markets were mixed in the overnight session, with Japan's Nikkei up 1 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng down more than 1 percent. Economically sensitive commodities such as oil and copper are gaining as the U.S. dollar weakens.

The S&P 500 traded in a narrow 5-point range yesterday, consolidating above 1700 as investors digested several positive economic reports from last week. It also had the lightest volume since the half-day session on July 3, evidence that the summer slowdown is under way.

Today has no important economic reports, but companies including Archer Daniels Midland, CVS Caremark, and Cognizant Technology will report quarterly results before the opening bell. Walt Disney, CF Industries, Computer Sciences, and First Solar follow in the afternoon.

There has been broad strength across the market, with no single sector dominating performance. The best performers in the last month include Chinese Internet companies, home health-care providers, real-estate services, telecom suppliers, and staffing agencies. Our proprietary researchLAB tool also shows groups including loan servicers and snowmobile makers starting to rally again after pausing at record highs. In addition, we have also seen producers of rare-earth materials and iron ore attempting to rebound from years of underperformance.

Dollar weakness is the main theme today in foreign-exchange and commodity markets. Oil rose about one-third of a percent, while copper is up almost a full percentage point. Gold and silver, however, are falling again, while agricultural products are mixed. The euro is inching higher as well, and the Australian dollar is trying to rebound from its lowest price in almost three years. The Japanese yen is posting very small gains across the board.

In company-specific news, American Eagle Outfitters is down 16 percent after cutting guidance on weak sales. Software maker Interactive Intelligence rose 11 percent after beating expectations on the top and bottom lines. Solar-energy stock GT Advanced Technologies advanced 8 percent on strong earnings, and Washington Post is up 5 percent on news it will sell its flagship newspaper to founder Jeff Bezos.

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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