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Stocks fight higher before key data

Stocks are fighting back from their lowest level in more than a month as investors await several key economic reports.

S&P 500 futures are up 0.4 percent, similar to the gains in Europe. Asian markets fell sharply overnight, led by a drop of 4 percent in Tokyo following the big U.S. selloff.

That decline was the biggest since the start of the month and brought the index back to its lowest level since Aug. 26. It was exacerbated by worries about commodity companies, especially the debt-laden European giant Glencore. The junk-bond market continued to crash as well, creating uncertainty about the ability of many companies to refinance obligations going forward.

Attention now turns to economic news, with one major report every day for the rest of the week. Consumer confidence is the big event at 10 a.m. ET today, preceded by the Case-Shiller index of home prices at 9 a.m. ET. Tomorrow brings ADP's private-sector payrolls report, Thursday features the Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index, and non-farm payrolls lead the action Friday.

Another big trend in the market recently has been the crash of biotechnology and health-care stocks following years of leadership. optionMONSTER's proprietary researchLAB market scanner now shows money flowing to companies that benefit from lower interest rates like real-estate investment trusts and utilities.

In company-specific news, OvaScience is likely to decline after announcing weak sales of its Augment fertility treatment. Esperion Therapeutics dropped more than 10 percent on news that regulators will force the company to complete trials before approving its cholesterol drug, contrary to previous guidance.

There was also positive news from Europe today, with a regional confidence index unexpectedly rising in September.

Oil rose 1.5 percent and copper rebounded 0.5 percent, while gold is fractionally lower. Currencies are little-changed.

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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