Stocks are climbing today as a two-day pullback draws buyers
back to the market.
S&P 500 futures are higher by almost half a percent and have
been climbing in the last hour. Europe is up by more than a full
percentage point in Europe, while Asian bourses were mixed
Earnings from companies including Hewlett-Packard and American
International Group came in better than expected after the closing
bell yesterday, followed by strong German business confidence this
morning. In addition, St. Louis Federal Reserve President James
Bullard told CNBC this morning that central-bank policy would
remain "easy" for a "long time." That may counter the beliefs of
some investors who interpreted the Fed minutes on Wednesday as
favoring more stringent measures.
The S&P 500 peaked at a five-year high of about 1531 earlier
this week before pulling back. Yesterday it held support at the key
1500 level, indicating that many buyers remain on the sidelines.
There are no more economic reports on today's calendar. The next
big events are Italian elections and Chinese manufacturing data
early next week.
Commodities and currencies are mostly painting a bullish picture.
Oil is up about half a percent, while most agricultural foodstuffs
are higher. The euro is modestly lower, but the Japanese yen is
down as well. The Australian dollar is rallying strongly after a
central banker suggested that interest rates won't be lowered
In company-specific news, Hewlett-Packard is up 5 percent after
earnings and revenue beat expectations. Management also issued
strong forward guidance. AIG rose 4 percent after its release, and
Aruba Networks is up 15 percent after a better-than-expected
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