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Caution before key data next week

By: optionMONSTER
Posted: 7/26/2013 8:14:00 AM
Referenced Stocks: SPX

Stocks are retreating from all-time highs before a flood of economic news next week.

S&P 500 futures are down about 0.4 percent, tracking losses of a similar magnitude in Europe. Asia was mostly lower in the overnight session, led by a 3 percent drop in Tokyo. Commodities tied to economic growth are also down, while the Japanese yen is rallying--common patterns when risk-aversion takes hold.

Oil and silver are down by almost 1 percent this morning, while copper fell almost 1.5 percent. The euro is modestly lower, but the big move in the foreign-exchange market is the broad strength in the Japanese yen.

In company-specific news, coffee chain Starbucks rose almost 7 percent after reporting strong quarterly results. Vertex Pharmaceuticals is down and Gilead Sciences is up after VRTX announced a setback in the development of an experimental hepatitis C drug. Zynga fell after abandoning efforts to profit from online gambling, Activision shot higher on news it was buying back a majority stake from Vivendia, and Amazon is edging lower on a weak quarterly report.

The S&P 500 has spent the last two weeks vying with its May 22 peak, never managing to break more than 0.7 percent above its previous high. Attention has focused on corporate results during that time, but now macroeconomic is coming back.

It starts with consumer confidence and the Case-Shiller index of home prices next Tuesday, followed by second-quarter gross domestic product, private-sector payrolls, and the Federal Reserve's interest-rate announcement on Wednesday. The following session brings the Institute for Supply Management's key monthly index and monetary policy from the European Central Bank. The week climaxes with non-farm payrolls on Friday morning.