Options Trading News

September 25, 2012  Tue 7:07 AM CT

U.S. stocks are indicated to open higher amid positive momentum and as investors look past negative headlines and anticipate good news from Europe.

The S&P 500 is up about 0.1 percent in pre-market trading, continuing its consolidation in a tight range for more than a week. The index has been steadily drifting higher since the beginning of the summer but has remained above its 10-day moving average for most of September.

Overseas markets were little-changed in the overnight session, with no major index fluctuating by more than 0.2 percent. U.S. volatility has been extremely low in recent weeks, and that pattern is now spreading to foreign markets.

Movements in the currency markets are also muted, with no clear trend emerging. Commodities, however, are showing a bias toward risk appetite as the morning progresses. Oil is now higher by more than 1 percent, while silver and copper are up by almost a full percentage point. Gold posted a small gain, and most agricultural foodstuffs are modestly higher.

The gains come despite negative news, highlighted by a weak outlook from industrial giant Caterpillar. The company lowered its earnings forecast for 2015 after yesterday's close, citing a lackluster global economy. Software company Red Hat trimmed its revenue guidance as well.

Europe had negative headlines this morning, with Spanish borrowing costs rising and Germany's Bundesbank warning that "signs of weaker dynamics are noticeable." Investors are now focused on the Case-Shiller index of U.S. home prices at 9 a.m. ET, which could show continued improvement in an industry that's been rebounding after years of weakness.

In company-specific news, RHT fell by more than 4 percent on its lowered guidance, while CAT shed more than 1 percent. Forward Air also dropped about 8 percent after reporting a drop-off in volumes that started in August.
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