Today's market action felt like a roller coaster.
US stock futures were down in early trading following an ugly decline in the Japanese Nikkei 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225).
Things perked up a bit, however, after the July University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey came in at 85.1, which was ahead of the consensus of 84, marking the highest level seen since July 2007.
The major indices popped modestly on the report before heading lower for approximately an hour. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) very briefly broke Thursday's low, hitting the 1676 level before shooting up to barely finish in the green at 1691.
The Nasdaq Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) outperformed the S&P modestly, courtesy of index heavyweights Amazon ( AMZN ) and Starbucks ( SBUX ) putting in healthy rallies following their respectiveThursday afternoon earnings reports.
The Russell 2000 (INDEXRUSSELL:RUT), which has exerted relative strength lately, was a notable loser today, as was Zynga ( ZNGA ), which reported disappointing earnings. The Nikkei also looks set to take a beating overnight as futures were down sharply during US trading hours due to strength in the yen, which hurts the profitability of Japanese exporters.
In fixed income, US Treasuries rose as investors seem cautious ahead of next week's deluge of economic data. And in commodities, oil and natural gas fell, fitting with today's risk-off flavor.
Tomorrow's Financial Outlook
At10:00 a.m. ET , June pending home sales will be released, with economists expecting a 1.2% decline. This number will be widely watched, given uneven housing data and significant underperformance in housing stocks. We will also see Dallas Fed Manufacturing Activity data for June.