Options Trading News

January 24, 2013  Thu 7:15 AM CT

Stocks are mixed this morning as the market digests bad news from Apple but positive economic data overseas.

S&P 500 futures are down by about 0.2 percent, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average us up slightly. The big move is on the Nasdaq, which is down by more than 1 percent after AAPL issued a disappointing revenue outlook.

Europe is little-changed, while Asian markets are mixed. Japan's Nikkei rallied more than 1 percent as the yen continued to weaken, while investors took profits in Shanghai. Commodities are mostly lower.

Stocks have been melting higher since late December after politicians in Washington reached a deal to avoid painful tax hikes and spending cuts. Attention has been shifting since then to economic growth in the United States and abroad, a trend demonstrated last night when China's manufacturing purchasing managers index came in slightly better than expected.

European data was also positive, with German PMI beating forecasts and climbing to its highest level in a year. A similar report for the broader Eurozone was strong as well.

Investors must now decide whether to keep taking risk after the S&P 500 closed yesterday at its highest level in more than four years or whether to take profits. AAPL's guidance is giving a reason to sell. Key iPhone suppliers including Cirrus Logic and Skyworks Solutions, are following to the downside. (See researchLAB for more.)

Other technology companies are also falling. Mellanox, a provider of network infrastructure, and chip maker Altera issued weak outlooks, sending MLNX down by 20 percent and ALTR down by 6 percent. Logitech, which makes computer peripherals, fell 7 percent after revenue missed expectations. Netflix and F5 Networks are bucking the trend after issuing strong forecasts.

Nokia, which has more than doubled since July, is down about 5 percent after announcing that it would forgo its quarterly dividend to save cash.

Foreign-exchange and commodity markets are painting a mixed-to-bearish picture. The euro is slightly higher, but the U.S. greenback is gaining against the Canadian and Australian dollars. Those currencies are usually associated with risk appetite, so it's a sign of caution when they fall. The yen, which moves in the opposite direction, continued to decline, supporting the bulls.

Oil is up slightly, making it the only major commodity to register gains. Agricultural foodstuffs are lower across the board, while silver is especially weak.

Big earnings reports after the bell today include Microsoft, Juniper Networks, and AT&T.
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