Stocks are hovering in a range today after hitting another
multi-year high yesterday.
Sentiment was brighter in the overnight session after China
reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter gross domestic
product. Japan rallied almost 3 percent, and Shanghai advanced more
than 1 percent. But European indexes have been weakening through
the morning as investors hesitate to put money to work following
That has S&P 500 futures unchanged after slight gains earlier.
The Nasdaq 100 is the most negative of the major benchmarks,
indicated to fall by about one-third of 1 percent, after
semiconductor giant Intel offered a cautious outlook yesterday
The S&P 500 has been climbing since Dec. 31, when politicians
in Washington reached a deal to avoid painful spending cuts and tax
hikes. Data from the U.S. labor and housing markets, plus China and
other parts of Asia, have continued to improve.
Attention is now shifting to corporate earnings season, which began
in earnest this week with reports from major financials including
Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. INTC worried investors last night by
forecasting first-quarter revenue of $12.7 billion, lower than the
$12.91 billion expected by analysts. The company also said it needs
to spend more money on research, potentially squeezing profits.
In other company-specific news, Research In Motion is higher by 6
percent before the bell after announcing it had developed a
mobile-payments system and getting upgraded to "buy" at Jefferies.
Morgan Stanley and General Electric are also up on strong earnings
Foreign-exchange trading is cautious after strong bullish moves in
recent weeks. The euro is retreating, along with other currencies
associated with risk such as the Australian and Canadian dollars.
Then yen is mostly higher as well.
Commodities are mixed, with oil and precious metals down by less
than half a percent. Copper and most agricultural foodstuffs are
The University of Michigan will also report its January
consumer-sentiment number at 9:55 a.m. ET, which could affect
sentiment early in the session.
Copyright © 2010 OptionMonster® Holdings, Inc. All Rights Reserved.