Stocks are slightly higher this morning, one session after
holding their ground at a key support level.
S&P 500 futures are up about 0.1 percent, while most European
indexes are rising by about 0.5 percent. India and China climbed
overnight as well, but Tokyo lagged with a 2 percent drop.
The S&P 500 fell to its lowest price in more than a month
yesterday, but then rebounded to break a three-day slide. It also
bounced at its 50-day moving average and remained above its
previous peaks from December and January. That suggests that the
longer-term uptrend is still intact.
But the real story continues to be international stocks and
emerging markets, which have thoroughly outperformed domestic
markets in the last month. Turkey, Brazil, and Colombia have led
the advance, according to optionMONSTER's proprietary
There's also been a shift in foreign exchange and interest rates.
The U.S. dollar has weakened against currencies associated with
growth, such as the euro, Australian dollar, and Canadian dollar.
Bond yields have also fallen as investors scale back expectations
for inflation and central-bank tightening. That's fueled a stealth
rally in utilities and real-estate investment trusts.
Energy and basic metals have benefited the most, along with Latin
American banks and utilities. Consumer discretionaries and health
care, the former leaders, have moved to the bottom of the totem
pole in the last month.
In company-specific news, Alcoa is up 3 percent up after reporting
better-than-expected profit yesterday afternoon, though revenues
lagged forecasts. Intuitive Surgical fell 7 percent after warning
that sales will miss estimates. Constant Contact surged 14 percent
after raising guidance. Constellation Brands is up 3 percent on
strong bottom-line results.
Today's other calendar items are crude-oil inventories at 10:30
a.m. ET and minutes from the last Federal Reserve meeting at 2 p.m.
Foreign-exchange markets paint a modestly bullish picture this
morning, with the safe-haven Japanese yen lower across the board.
Commodities are mixed, with oil and grains fractionally higher but
I own AA calls.