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Stocks inch higher, fighting resistance

By: optionMONSTER
Posted: 7/2/2013 8:06:00 AM
Referenced Stocks: SPX

Stocks are trying to climb again today, but face potential resistance and weakness overseas.

S&P 500 futures are up about one-tenth of a percent, while European indexes have been struggling all morning and are now down by half a percent to a full percentage point. Asia climbed in the overnight session after yesterday's 0.5 percent gain in the United States, led by Australia and Japan.

Equities have been climbing in the last week as the market rebounds from its sharpest selloff of 2013. Economic data, such as yesterday's manufacturing index from the Institute of Supply Management, has remained positive, and attention now turns to private-sector payroll data tomorrow and non-farm employment on Friday.

Auto sales are the only item on today's calendar. Markets also close early tomorrow and remain shut on Thursday for Independence Day, so volumes will fade as the week progresses.

Strong data has supported sentiment, but the S&P 500 is now pausing around the same level where it bounced in early June and below its 50-day moving average. That could make some chart watchers expect another pullback in coming sessions.

Our researchLAB market scanner has shown a bias toward risk taking as investors favor small-caps, transports and sellers of expensive discretionary items like motor homes, speedboats, and motorcycles. Emerging markets have also been trying to bounce in the last week.

Foreign-exchange and commodity markets are painting a mixed picture, with the euro, Australian dollar, and copper lower while the Japanese yen is higher against most other currencies. Precious metals are little-changed. Oil is inching higher.

In company-specific news, Achillion Pharmaceuticals is indicated sharply lower after regulators halted trials of its prospective hepatitis-C drug. Zynga is gaining on news that it has hired a new CEO, and Xyratex is up after a strong earnings report. A Schulman has fallen on weak results.