Stocks are wavering after a bounce in the last two sessions.
S&P 500 futures are little changed, reversing earlier gains of more than 0.2 percent. Trading is mixed across the Atlantic, as Frankfurt and Paris decline 0.4 percent but the higher-risk bourses of Madrid and Milan rebound by more than 0.5 percent. India's Sensex led the gains in Asia overnight with a 1.4 percent pop as investors returned to the globe's top-performing market this year.
Equities have essentially been range bound since July 3. During that time, momentum has shifted to emerging markets like China, while tensions in Ukraine and slowing growth have weighed on Europe. Our researchLAB market scanner has also detected relative strength in retailers as improving job data in the United States draws investors back to the sector. Metals and coal miners have been coming to life as well.
The Nasdaq-100 has also fared better than most other indexes, holding support at its 50-day moving average while the S&P 500 and transports are at their 100-day moving averages. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is all the way down to its 200-day and the Russell 2000 has struggled even more.
The calendar focuses on those strong areas in coming sessions: Retail and the Nasdaq. Tomorrow brings retail-sales data, around the same time that companies like Macy's, Wal-Mart and Kohl's report earnings. Cisco Systems, NetApp and Applied Materials are on the lineup as well. (See researchLAB's interactive calendar for a complete schedule.)
At least three companies in the experimental healthcare space are rallying on positive news today: Intercept Pharmaceuticals surged more than 50 percent on positive data involving its liver drug, while Exact Sciences gained 8 percent after the Food & Drug Administration approved its cancer-screening product. Insys Therapeutics also rose 10 percent on strong quarterly results and after submitting a New Drug Application for its cannabis-based Dronabinol product.
To the downside, Flowers Foods and Nuance Communications both fell about 10 percent after missing estimates. Analysts are also jumping on the retail bandwagon as Stifel Nicolaus upgrades Abercrombie & Fitch and Citi talks up stocks including Williams Sonoma and Macy's.
Oil declined almost 1 percent and remains under pressure. Gold, silver and copper are up slightly. U.S. dollar strength is the main story in foreign-exchange markets as the greenback appreciates against both the euro and Japanese yen.
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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