Stocks are inching higher this morning after holding their
ground near record levels yesterday.
S&P 500 futures are up almost 0.2 percent. European markets are
stronger across the board, with the higher risk countries of Spain
and Italy up the most. Asia climbed in the overnight session, led
by a 1.6 percent gain in Tokyo. Currencies also reflect a bullish
sentiment, with the Japanese yen down while the Australian dollar
and euro are climbing.
The S&P 500 made a new intraday closing high of 1876.53
yesterday before closing fractionally lower. Its gains have been
fueled by large amounts of cash on the sidelines and strengthening
economic data. A benign monetary and political backdrop has also
The European Central Bank and Bank of England, for instance, left
interest rates unchanged near record lows. Diplomatic talks have
also begun in hopes of resolving the Ukraine crisis.
Attention now turns to initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m.
ET. Finisar, H&R Block, and Qihoo 360 Technology also
report earnings after the closing bell tonight. Tomorrow morning
brings the Labor Department's key monthly non-farms payroll report.
The last week has been a shift in leadership toward transportation
and financial stocks, while energy, technology and utilities have
lagged. In particular, our
market-analysis tool shows money flowing into ocean-shipping
companies, oil tankers, brokerage firms, government-sponsored
enterprises, and financial exchanges. Chinese Internet and gaming
companies, along with solar and social-media, have also been
regaining longer-term momentum.
In company-specific news, Staples is down 10 percent after earnings
and sales missed estimates. Mining-equipment maker Joy Global rose
slightly despite weak results. Sangamo Biosciences is surging 22
percent after a study in the New England Journal of Medicine
suggested that its technology will be effective in the treatment of
Crude oil, precious metals, and agricultural foodstuffs are all
posting small losses. Copper rose fractionally and natural-gas is
up 1 percent.