Stocks are lower this morning as key indexes remain in a tight range with few catalysts to drive trading.
S&P 500 futures are down about 0.3 percent. Europe is lower as well, led by drops of more than 1 percent in the higher-risk bourses of Italy and Spain. Mumbai's Sensex rallied 3 percent on hopes of a positive outcome to Indian elections, while most other Asian markets were little-changed overnight.
The S&P 500 was up more than 0.5 percent at one point yesterday, only to hit resistance and end slightly lower. It's been fluctuating in an increasingly narrow range for more than a month, despite a heavy flow of economic news and corporate earnings.
Attention has focused on the Russell 2000 small cap index, which fell 1 percent yesterday and is below its 200-day moving average for the first time since late 2012. Given that it led the broader market into record territory early last year, some observers believe the RUT's may be pointing toward a correction.
A handful of companies issue results today: Hilton Worldwide, Alcatel-Lucent, and ArcelorMittal this morning, followed by Vringo in the afternoon. HLT and ALU are also inching higher on the heels of positive results. The next significant event on the calendar is retail-sales data on Tuesday morning.
CBS may be under pressure after quarterly revenue missed estimates. Universal Display is up more than 10 percent after beating consensus and raising guidance. Gap rose almost 5 percent after April same-store sales beat estimates. Jazz Pharmaceuticals dropped 9 percent after earnings and guidance trailed analysts' forecasts.
International stocks have remained strong despite the weakness in domestic indexes over the last month, according to optionsMONSTER's researchLAB market-intelligence tool. The Middle East, Africa, Peru, Turkey, and Brazil have led the advance, while Asia has lagged.
Oil and precious metals are rebounding this morning with a gain of about 0.5 percent. Copper is fractionally higher as well. Foreign exchange is mixed, with the U.S. dollar and Japanese yen both up against most other currencies.
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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