Stocks continue to melt higher today as sentiment remains bullish ahead of key economic data tomorrow.
S&P 500 futures are up about 0.15 percent, while most of Europe is higher by about half a percent. Japan's Nikkei rose more than 1 percent overnight while the rest of Asia was mixed. Oil is under pressure after Chinese industrial production and retail sales missed estimates.
Equities have been surging for almost a month as buyers returned following a selloff in early October. Strong employment trends in the United States have lifted hopes for holiday spending at the same time that the housing and mortgage sectors look poised for a recovery from last decade's financial crisis.
Those expectations will be tested tomorrow morning when the Commerce Department announces monthly retail sales and the University of Michigan releases its gauge of consumer sentiment. Today's main items are initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET and a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen at 12:45 p.m. ET.
Wal-Mart Stores also reported better-than-expected quarterly results and is up 2 percent in early trading. Cisco Systems fell 2 percent after providing weak guidance late yesterday. Kohl's declined 3 percent after earnings and sales missed estimates. Poor top-line performance and guidance also weighed on data-storage company NetApp.
In other company-specific news, movie studio DreamWorks Animation shot up 22 percent after the New York Times reported that the studio may be acquired by Hasbro.
While homebuilders, banks, and retailers have stood out the most in recent weeks, optionMONSTER's researchLAB market scanner also shows new money entering telecom-equipment stocks, coal miners, and video-game companies. Metals and energy have lagged.
That weakness may continue today with crude oil on the verge of breaking key multiyear support. West Texas Intermediate fell more than 1 percent and European Brent is down almost 2 percent, a price mix that could eventually prove beneficial to refining stocks. Gold, silver, and copper are eking out small gains.
Strength in the euro and Australian dollar, which reflects a certain degree of risk appetite, are the most noteworthy developments in foreign-exchange trading.
Copyright © 2010 OptionMonster® Holdings, Inc. All Rights Reserved.