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Major indexes lower as stocks pause

Stocks are drifting lower this morning as the S&P 500 pauses near its all-time high.

Index futures are down by about 0.1 percent, following similar declines in Europe. Asian markets fell by wider margins overnight, led by a China, but commodities are holding their ground.

The S&P 500 peaked near 1557 inthe last two sessions, its highest level since October 2007. Other key indexes, including the Dow Jones Transportation Average and the Russell 2000, are already in record territory.

Equities have been advancing steadily since November as an improving global economy draws money locked up in the bond market. But now they're drifting with few clear catalysts at work this week. The biggest economic release scheduled for today is February retail sales at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Foreign-exchange markets show a modestly bearish sentiment, with the euro, Australian dollar and Canadian dollar all lower, while the Japanese yen is mostly higher. Oil, copper, and precious metals are all little-changed.

In company-specific news, Spectrum Pharmaceuticals is indicated to fall sharply after predicting weak sales of its Fusilev drug in 2013. Apparel retailer Express is also down about 16 percent on poor guidance for the first quarter. Financials, which have led the market over the last month, are down slightly in the premarket as well.

Our researchLAB analytical tool shows sentiment improving in metals companies over the last weeks, including steel companies and gold and silver miners. Makers of light-emitting diodes have also started to rally and are the best group in the last week.

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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