A generic image of a smartphone
Markets

Equities inch higher after record close

Stocks are slightly higher this morning after the S&P 500 closed at a record high yesterday.

Futures are up by less 0.1 percent at the time of this writing, while Europe is bouncing from earlier losses and is now down by less than 0.5 percent. Asian markets were mixed, with China lower but Japan's Nikkei surging 3 percent on hopes of further central bank stimulus.

Equities have begun 2013 with a strong rally, though the gains have slowed since mid-March as the S&P 500 neared its all-time peaks from 2007. While yesterday marked a new record closing price, the index remains about 3 points below its all-time intraday zenith of 1576.

The run has been fueled by monetary policy and an improving economy. Attention now focuses on U.S. employment data today through Friday, followed by the start of corporate-earnings season next week. The big number this morning is ADP's private-sector payrolls report for March at 8:15 a.m. ET. Economists expect an addition of 197,000 jobs versus 198,000 in February.

Our researchLAB analytics tool also shows that sentiment has been turning less aggressive recently, as sectors such as financials and industrials cede leadership to health care and utilities. The Russell 2000 small-cap index and Dow Jones Transport Average have declined in the last week, while the S&P 500 and megacap Dow Jones Industrial Average have continued to gain.

Commodities are mostly bearish today, with oil and copper lower by about 0.5 percent. Gasoline is down a full percentage point and has been trending lower since mid-February, which could hurt sentiment toward oil refiners. Precious metals are little-changed following sharp declines in the last week. Little is happening in the foreign-exchange market.

In company-specific news, social-gaming stock Zynga is up 12 percent after announcing that it would launch its first online gambling title. Vodafone is lower by 3 percent after Verizon dismissed reports it was trying to purchase the British telecom giant.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Copyright © 2010 OptionMonster® Holdings, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

In This Story

SPX

Other Topics

Options

Latest Markets Videos