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Futures slip from record highs

Stocks are inching lower this morning, one session after pushing to new highs.

S&P 500 futures and European indexes are down almost 0.2 percent. Asia was mostly higher overnight, led by gains of more than 1 percent in Hong Kong and Seoul. Bonds prices are up again as well.

The S&P 500 was little-changed yesterday, but at one point pushed above 1900 for the first time. The Dow Jones Industrials and Transportation Indexes also closed at new record levels. The moves suggest that equities are poised to rally again after grinding sideways for more than two months.

While the Nasdaq-100 has lagged, two quarterly reports in coming sessions have the potential to revive the technology-heavy index: Cisco Systems this afternoon and Applied Materials after the closing bell Thursday. Today's agenda also brings results from Deere and Macy's, plus producer prices at 8:30 a.m. ET, crude-oil inventories at 10:30 a.m. ET, and Japanese economic-growth numbers this evening.

In earlier news, European industrial production for March missed expectations and weekly mortgage applications rose 3.6 percent as low interest rates spurred refinancing activity. Sony declined 4 percent after forecasting yet another yearly loss because of weak demand for TVs and PCs. DE fell 1 percent after revenue missed expectations and management trimmed guidance. Sears Holdings rose more than 4 percent after announcing plans to divest its stake in Sears Canada.

In addition to AMAT's earnings, tomorrow's agenda is the busiest of the week, with results due from Wal-Mart Stores and Kohl's, plus European growth, initial jobless claims, consumer prices, and regional surveys from the New York and Philadelphia Federal Reserve banks.

Our researchLAB market scanner has shown the strength spread across several groups in the last month. Noteworthy gainers include office-supply retailers, automobile retailers, shipping and logistics companies, health insurers, energy frackers, and providers of mobile semiconductors. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have also started to rally, which could bode well for other financials.

Oil is up 0.3 percent, while gold, silver, and copper are all up about 1 percent. The euro and Australian dollar also advanced. The Japanese yen is up across the board.

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.

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