Stocks and commodities are weakening today after failing to hold
their gains on yesterday.
The S&P 500 is marginally lower, tracking declines of
one-quarter to half a percent in Europe. Most Asian markets were
mixed overnight. The big standout was Japan's Nikkei, which rallied
almost 2 percent as the yen continued to weaken.
The S&P 500 traded above 1430 on an intraday basis for the last
two sessions but then closed below that level. The hesitation comes
amid ongoing worries about the "fiscal cliff," which threatens to
raise taxes and cut government spending in the United States unless
lawmakers strike a budget deal by year-end.
Attention now turns to economic data, with U.S. retail sales and
weekly jobless claims both due at 8:30 a .m. ET.
Commodities and currencies are also showing a pattern of mild risk
aversion, with the euro, oil, and copper all losing value. Precious
metals are especially hard hit, marked by declines of almost 3
percent for silver and 1.3 percent for gold. Agricultural
foodstuffs are down.
In company-specific news, Best Buy is rallying more than 11 percent
after the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that company founder
Richard Shulze will offer $5 billion to $6 billion for the ailing
Boston Beer is indicated to open higher after raising guidance,
while Endo Health Solutions dropped on news that its 2013 results
will miss estimates. Clearwire is also up 10 percent after Sprint
Nextel offered to buy outstanding shares in the broadband company