Stocks are pausing this morning after six consecutive days of
S&P 500 futures are off less than 0.2 percent, while most
European markets are mixed to higher. Asia closed mostly higher as
well, lifted by yesterday's strong U.S. rally. High-beta countries
such as Italy, Spain and Thailand outperformed in overseas trading,
reflecting risk appetite.
The S&P 500 has gained 3 percent since finding support at its
100-day moving average in late August. It's been trending steadily
higher for the last year, supported by strong economic data and
large amounts of cash on the sidelines. A return to global growth
has been the dominant theme over the last month as better numbers
from China and Europe draw investors into materials and
transportation stocks. (See our
market scanner for more.)
Headlines remain positive today, with President Barack Obama
indicating that there won't be a war with Syria. Australian
consumer confidence also rose to its highest level in more than
2-1/2 years and Malaysian industrial production surpassed
Nonetheless, the S&P 500 has now returned to the same 1682-1687
range where it peaked in May and also found support in early
August. That could make some chart watchers expect a pause.
There are no important economic numbers scheduled for release
today. Verizon Communications' giant corporate-bond offering could
Commodities reflect optimism about the global economy again, with
Brent crude oil and copper climbing by about half a percent.
Precious metals are little changed and agricultural foodstuffs are
posting small gains.
Foreign-exchange trading is less bullish as the Japanese yen
recovers from recent declines and the euro edges lower.
In company-specific news, International Paper could be active after
raising its dividend and announcing a $1.5 billion share buyback.
Restoration Hardware is also drifting lower despite issuing a
strong quarterly report. Apple is also down 4 percent after
unveiling its new iPhones yesterday but failing to announce a
much-anticipated deal with China Mobile.
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