Sentiment remains bullish this morning as stocks refuse to back
down from near-record levels.
S&P 500 futures are up about 0.2 percent, while most European
indexes are fractionally positive. Tokyo rallied almost 3 percent
in the overnight session, accompanied by healthy gains in Seoul and
Jakarta. Chinese indexes were mixed.
The S&P 500 closed yesterday barely half a percent below last
month's record highs and is holding support above its key 50-day
moving average. That suggests bullish momentum remains intact
following a late-January pullback.
The Russell 2000 small-cap index and transportation stocks have
also been strong in recent sessions following a period of weakness.
If that continues, it may suggest another drop is less likely.
market scanner has shown strength in energy, health care,
utilities, and materials during the last week. Investors have also
targeted gold and silver miners, car-rental stocks, Chinese
Internet companies, solar-energy firms, and railroad suppliers.
Financials and consumer-related names have lagged.
Existing-home sales at 10 a.m. ET, which tends to have little
impact on sentiment, is the only item on today's economic . Next
week's agenda is also relatively quiet. (See
In company-specific news, Groupon fell 11 percent after forecasting
an unexpected first-quarter loss. Hewlett-Packard rose 1 percent
after beating forecasts on strong data-center demand. Emitus, a
provider of senior-living facilities, is rallying 35 percent after
agreeing to be purchased by Brookdale Senior Living, which in turn
rose 3 percent. Dish Network is up 5 percent after profit beat
Oil is down fractionally, gold and silver are up slightly, and
copper and agricultural products are little-changed. Weakness in
the safe-haven Japanese yen, which tends to support risk appetite,
is the main story in foreign-exchange markets.