Stocks inch higher, get earnings lift


Stocks are inching higher today, although weakness overseas is dulling enthusiasm.

S&P 500 futures are up less than two-tenths of a percent, although the Nasdaq is up more following strong results from Microsoft and Europe is eking out small gains despite weak earnings and an unexpected drop in Germany's Ifo index of business confidence.

Asia was mostly lower in the overnight session, with Shanghai down more than 1 percent and Tokyo falling 3 percent, amid disappointing corporate results and concerns about bad debts in China.

The S&P 500 has been climbing steadily since it bounced at its 100-day moving average on Oct. 9, and has been consolidating near record highs for the last three sessions. Every sector has benefited from the move, but gains have been especially noteworthy among metal producers, transports and home builders. Our researchLAB market scanner also shows education stocks attracting buyers after a long period of weakness, with more gains likely today as Career Education soars on news of an asset divestiture.

MSFT is also up some 6.5 percent after reporting better-than-expected earnings and revenue last night. AMZN rose 8 percent on strong sales. Deckers Outdoor gained 14 percent on a strong report, as well.  The main event on today's calendar is the release of durable goods orders at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Commodities and foreign-exchange markets are mixed. Oil is little changed, copper fell 0.6 percent and precious metals declined more sharply. Agricultural products are mostly lower. The euro and Australian dollar are both down slightly, while the Japanese yen is flat.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

Copyright © 2010 OptionMonster® Holdings, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

This article appears in: Investing , Options

Referenced Stocks: SPX



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