Options Trading News

October 15, 2013  Tue 7:15 AM CT

Stocks are range-bound today as investors anticipate a resolution to the deadlock in Washington.

S&P 500 futures are down fractionally, reversing earlier gains after Citigroup missed estimates. European indexes are climbing by about 1 percent after Germany's Zew survey of investor confidence rose to a three-year high.

Asian markets were mixed but modestly higher, led by Australia, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Gold and silver plunged, reflecting confidence that politicians will raise the United States debt ceiling soon.

Two days remain before the world's biggest economy reaches the statutory limit on its borrowing. Lawmakers have been unable to reach an agreement on raising the ceiling, though senators yesterday were hopeful that a deal would emerge today.

The S&P 500 pulled back to its 100-day moving average last week on worries about the debt situation, but then bounced after House Republicans met with President Obama. The index is up 3.9 percent from those lows in just the last four sessions. International markets have been even stronger during that time as investors find value in countries such as Thailand, India, and Brazil.

Our researchLAB market-analysis tool also shows continued strength in semiconductor-related stocks, steelmakers, and companies that provide office supplies and equipment. Precious metals, ocean shippers, and Chinese Internet companies have lagged.

Attention will now focus increasingly on corporate earnings. Financial giant C is down about 1 percent this morning after quarterly profit and revenue missed expectations. Coca-Cola matched estimates, while Johnson & Johnson beat consensus numbers and raised full-year guidance. Today's big names after the closing bell include semiconductor maker Intel and Internet giant Yahoo. The only economic report on the calendar is the New York Federal Reserve's Empire manufacturing index at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Most other commodities are negative in addition to the 1 percent drop for gold and the 3 percent plunge in silver. Oil is down more than half a percent, led by Brent crude, which could hurt refiner stocks. Copper is down a similar amount and agricultural products are mostly negative.

The euro is also down against the U.S. dollar as hope of a debt deal lifts the greenback. The Japanese yen is modestly higher across the board, which reflects a certain degree of risk aversion.

In other company-specific news, software maker Teradata and retailer Coldwater Creek are indicated sharply lower after reporting weak quarterly results. Packaging Corporation of America is up more than 1 percent after earnings and revenue beat expectations.
Share this article with your friends

Related Stories


Stocks inch higher before data

November 25, 2015

S&P 500 futures are up about 0.1 percent, while most of Europe is rallying more than 1 percent. Asia was mostly lower overnight.


Calendar is busy before holiday

November 25, 2015

Today's agenda is packed with data, including mortgage applications, jobless claims, durable goods, personal income and spending, consumer sentiment, and new home sales.


Stocks fall after Russian jet downed

November 24, 2015

S&P 500 futures are down 0.6 percent, while most of Europe has fallen more than 1 percent. Asian markets were little-changed.


GDP, consumer confidence on tap

November 24, 2015

The second reading on third-quarter GDP is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. ET. Forecasters anticipate growth of 2 percent, up from the previously reported 1.5 percent gain.


Stocks drift into busy week of data

November 23, 2015

S&P 500 futures are little-changed, while most of Europe is fractionally lower. Asia also posted small losses overnight. There's also significant volatility in oil.


Premium Services

Education & Strategy

The art of trading

As I stated in last week's article, a break out or a break down needs to have a couple things happen before it is considered a confirmed break out or break down. The only problem is that in today's market where things move much more quicker than they did just a few years ago, two days could wind up being the majority of the expected movement, if not the whole movement.

View more education articles »