Markets

Stocks lower after yesterday's drop

Stocks are edging lower this morning as global markets remain under pressure.

S&P 500 futures are off about 0.1 percent but have been recovering in the last hour. Most of Europe is down about 0.3 percent, although the higher-risk countries of Italy and Spain are fractionally higher. Tokyo fell 1.4 percent overnight. India's Sensex bucked the trend, at one point gaining 6 percent on election results, but closing the session up less than 1 percent.

The S&P 500 has been grinding incrementally higher since the early March, as utilities and energy rallied to offset weakness in e-commerce, consumer-discretionaries, and biotech. The benchmark index fell as much as 1.4 percent yesterday but rallied back to close above key support at its 50-day moving average.

The economic data has painted a mixed picture: Retail sales missed expectations on Tuesday, but initial jobless claims fell to a seven-year low and forward-looking surveys by the New York and Philadelphia Federal Reserve banks were much stronger than forecast yesterday. Investors have grown more worried about slowing growth in Europe and deflationary pressures globally, which have pushed interest rates lower.

Today's calendar brings housing starts and building permits at 8:30 a.m. ET, followed at 9:55 a.m. ET by the University of Michigan's consumer-sentiment index. Potentially important Chinese house-price data comes out over the weekend, followed by earnings from retailers like Home Depot on Tuesday, and Lowe's and Target on Wednesday.

Department-store operator J.C. Penney is up 18 percent in the pre-market after sales grew for the first time since 2011 and its quarterly loss was narrower than expected. Nordstrom beat estimates and is popping 11 percent. Technology stocks Applied Materials and Autodesk are gaining on strong results as well.

The last week has also brought potential signs of bottoming in several former high-flying Nasdaq stocks such as LinkedIn, Amazon.com, Google, and Facebook. In addition, our proprietary researchLAB market scanner shows capital returning to Chinese Internet stocks, biotechnology, office-supply stores, and basic metals.

Oil and copper are up about 0.2 percent. Precious metals and agricultural products are fractionally lower. There are no big movers in foreign-exchange markets.

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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