Stock futures are advancing this morning before the key non-farm
payrolls report at 8:30 a.m. ET.
The S&P 500 has been climbing in the last hour and is indicated
higher by about one-third of 1 percent, while the Nasdaq 100 and
Russell 2000 small cap indexes are showing slightly larger gains.
Most overseas markets gained as well: France's CAC 40 is up almost
1 percent, while Japan's Nikkei climbed half a percent overnight
and Shanghai rallied 1.4 percent overnight.
The S&P 500 has been sitting at 1500 for the last week after a
scorching rally that began on Dec. 31. Few sellers have come
forward to knock it down from that level, and buyers have kept
pullbacks extremely shallow. Investors have mostly looked past weak
economic news, such as a poor gross domestic product report on
Wednesday and a disappointing Chinese manufacturing report this
Foreign-exchange and commodity trading are mixed but mostly
bullish. The euro is higher and the Japanese yen is lower across
the board, a relationship that usually corresponds with rising
share prices. But oil and copper are down slightly, as are the
Australian and Canadian dollars. Agricultural foodstuffs and
precious metals are up slightly.
It's interesting to note that stocks, currencies, and commodities
are not all moving in the same direction every day, as they did in
the 2005-2007 period. This suggests that large indexed hedge funds
are not driving the current rally but that real money is being put
to work in equities instead.
In company-specific news, software maker Netsuite is up about 7
percent after raising its full-year guidance, while energy giant
Exxon Mobil is also fractionally higher after earnings and revenue
beat consensus estimates.