Stocks are trying to recover from yesterday's drop as investors
prepare for a heavy flow of corporate earnings.
S&P 500 futures were up 0.5 percent but are now just slightly
higher. Europe has also surrendered earlier gains. Japan and China
both fell more than 1 percent overnight following late declines in
the United States.
The S&P 500 initially rose yesterday but slid into the close
after the Federal Reserve left its monetary stance unchanged. A
potentially bearish technical backdrop is also developing, with the
index range bound since the summer as its 10-, 20-, and 30-day
moving averages turn negative. That could make some chart watchers
think that momentum is turning lower.
But several other catalysts may influence sentiment. Today is one
of the busiest sessions of earnings season, with results due this
morning from companies like Ford Motor, Celgene, Dow Chemical, EMC,
Hershey Foods, Viacom, JetBlue, Blackstone, and Occidental
Petroleum. Visa, Google, Amazon, Biogen Idec, JDS Uniphase, and
Synaptics follow in the afternoon.
Today also brings initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET, pending
home sales at 10 a.m. ET, and natural-gas inventories at 10:30 a.m.
ET. The next two sessions have two other major events, as well: the
preliminary estimate for fourth-quarter gross domestic product
tomorrow morning and the Institute for Supply Management's
manufacturing index Monday.
In company-specific news, F rose more than 2 percent after earnings
and revenue beat forecasts. HSY fell 3 percent after missing
estimates and Facebook is down fractionally despite reporting
strong results last night. Dow Chemical and Coach about rose more
than 4 percent after profit surpassed estimates. Revenue, however,
lagged at both companies. Chinese Internet giant Alibaba fell 6
percent on weak sales.
Price action has been mixed in recent weeks, with few individual
groups clearly outperforming on our
market scanner. Nonetheless, there appears to be strength emerging
among oil refiners, wireless-tower stocks, and video-game makers.
Commodities are mixed today. Oil rose fractionally, but gold,
silver, and copper all fell more than 1 percent. A strong U.S.
dollar is the main theme in foreign-exchange markets.