Stocks slip before Yellen speaks


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Stocks are edging lower as investors prepare for Janet Yellen's first congressional testimony as chair of the Federal Reserve tomorrow.

S&P 500 futures are down by more than 0.1 percent, while European markets are little-changed. Tokyo and Shanghai both climbed about 2 percent overnight, spurred by big gains in the United States on Friday.

The S&P 500 ended last week with a bang, rallying 2.6 percent in the last two sessions, as bargain hunters returned to the market following its biggest drop since late 2012. Sentiment has been weakening in the last month as economic data slows in the United States and abroad, though momentum in the broader market remains solidly bullish.

Attention now turns to Yellen's appearance before the House Financial Services Committee at 10 a.m. ET tomorrow. She returns to the Senate on Thursday, when the Commerce Department is also scheduled to report monthly retail sales. In addition to the economic headlines, corporate results continue to stream in.

Hasbro is the main company scheduled for this morning, followed by Masco, Pioneer Natural Resources, Rackspace, Comstock Resources, and American Capital this afternoon. Cisco Systems, Deere, NetApp, Applied Materials and Nvidia follow tomorrow. (See our latest earnings calendar )

While no single sector has dominated performance, our researchLAB market scanner shows emerging strength in homebuilders, video-game makers, credit-rating agencies, bulk materials, iron ore, and silver miners.

In company-specific news, HAS fell 1 percent after sales and profit missed expectations. AutoNavi, a Chinese digital-map provider, is up 28 percent after receiving a takeover offer from Alibaba.

Commodities are mixed, with oil down slightly and natural gas falling by almost 2 percent. Gold is gaining 0.9 percent, silver is climbing 1.4 percent, and copper is up fractionally. Agricultural products are mostly lower.

Currencies are modestly bearish, with the Japanese yen higher while the euro and Australian dollar edging lower.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Options

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