Stocks are down again today, but certain indicators remain
S&P 500 futures are signaling a fractional decline at the open,
while most European indexes are falling less than half a percent.
Japan and Shanghai posted similar losses in the overnight session.
There is, however, little sign that panic is setting in because
more volatile, "high beta" markets such as Italy, Spain, and
Thailand have held up much better than their larger counterparts.
Oil, precious metals, and copper are higher as well.
The S&P 500 has declined four consecutive sessions, trying to
find support after surging to record territory last week. Attention
is now focused on the potential risk of a government shutdown as
the fiscal year draws to a close on Sept. 30. But the main
proponent of a shutdown, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), appears
In addition to political wrangling, the economic calendar is
growing more active, with durable-goods orders today, global
manufacturing data early next week, and the ever-important U.S. job
report at the end of next week. After that, attention will focus on
Bond yields are falling again today, continuing a trend that's
taken hold since the Federal Reserve stunned investors last week by
not tapering bond purchases. More declines could provide a boost to
the key housing sector.
Brent crude oil rose a full 1 percent and West Texas Intermediate
is up 0.6 percent. If that trend continues it could be potentially
bullish for refiners, which tend to benefit from Brent climbing
against WTI. Gold, copper and silver each rose about half a
percent, and most agricultural foodstuffs are higher.
Trading is quiet in the foreign-exchange markets, with the euro and
yen up slightly.
In company-specific news, automobile auctioneer Copart fell almost
9 percent after earnings missed expectations and the company opted
not to convert into a real-estate investment trust. Ascena Retail
is up 15 percent after reporting strong quarterly results. Clovis
Oncology dropped 13 percent after Bloomberg reported it failed to
attract a buyer and Noble rose 3 percent on news it would split
into two companies.