Options Trading News

June 27, 2014  Fri 7:15 AM CT

Stocks are lower this morning, continuing to retreat from record highs before an onslaught of economic news next week.

S&P 500 futures are down 0.2 percent, while Europe is little-changed. Asia was mostly lower overnight, led by a 1.4 percent drop in Tokyo as the Japanese yen strengthened.

The S&P 500 broke out to new all-time highs last month, but its gains have been slowing in the last two weeks. Attention will turn to economic news next week, with three major themes to the data: global manufacturing, European monetary policy and United States employment. (See researchLAB's interactive calendar for more.)

Markets then close for Independence Day next Friday, and second-quarter earnings season gets underway the following week.

Today brought minor negative headlines from overseas as European business confidence unexpectedly weakened and Japanese household spending fell more than forecast.

Energy has been the dominant theme for the last three months as oil drillers, natural-gas shippers, pipelines, frackers, and tanker companies all take turns rallying. Our researchLAB market scanner also shows money streaming into metals, commercial-property managers, 3-D printing stocks, and Latin American banks. Oil refiners, firearm makers, and financial guarantors have lagged.

In company-specific news today, Nike rose 3 percent and Finish Line advanced almost 5 percent after quarterly results beat expectations. Amedisys, a provider of home-healthcare services, is up 8 percent after forecasting strong second-quarter earnings. DuPont fell 3 percent after cutting guidance. The other noteworthy quarterly report scheduled for this morning will come from KB Home.

Canadian energy firm Encana may also be active today after agreeing to sell its Bighorn assets for $1.8 billion. Manitowoc is also up 11 percent after Relational Investors took a large stake and pushed for a breakup into two separate companies.

Commodities are little-changed, and the main story in foreign-exchange markets is the strengthening yen. 
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