Markets

Stocks pause near record highs

Stocks are retreating slightly this morning today after another record close on Friday.

S&P 500 futures are down about one-tenth of a percent, tracking moves of a similar magnitude in Europe. Asia was mixed in the overnight session, with Shanghai up 1 percent but Japan's Nikkei down 1.4 percent as the yen rallied.

The S&P 500 has closed above 1700 for the last two sessions, supported by a stream of positive economic data and corporate earnings last week. While most employment numbers beat expectations, the biggest standouts were strong factory reports in the United States, Europe, and China. Companies exposed to consumer spending, especially those selling big-ticket items like cars, remain upbeat. Indications also point to further gains in housing.

Transports and small caps, which have been leading the broader market, remain in bullish territory. Another encouraging trend for the bulls is that gains have occurred broadly across the market, with no single sector dominating performance.

Our researchLAB analytics tool shows Chinese Internet companies as the strongest single industry group in the last week. Real-estate services, gambling-related stocks, and automobile retailers also stand out.

This week is much quieter in terms of data. China reported better-than-expected services data in the overnight session. The only headline in the United States is the Institute of Supply Management's non-manufacturing index at 10 a.m. ET. It's then quiet until initial jobless claims and retailer same-store sales on Thursday.

Trading is cautious in foreign-exchange and commodity markets today. The euro, Australian dollar, and Canadian dollar are all lower, while the safe-haven Japanese yen is up across the board. Oil and silver are down about 1 percent, while copper is losing half a percent. Gold is modestly lower and agricultural products are mostly negative.

In company-specific news, Apple may be active after the Obama Administration let the company import older iPhones and iPads. The move overturned an earlier International Trade Commission ruling that the products violated Samsung Electronics' patents. Tyson Foods is up more than 3 percent after earnings and revenue beat and guidance was strong. Calls bought in the poultry stock on Thursday are set to triple on the move.

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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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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