Options Trading News

July 22, 2013  Mon 7:14 AM CT

Equities are slightly higher today after another record close on Friday.

S&P 500 futures are up almost one-quarter of a percent after gaining in the last hour. Most European markets are hovering in a range, though Asian bourses gained more than half a percent in the overnight session. Energy, precious metals, and copper are also strong, while bond yields are falling.

Investors are preparing for a week with relatively little economic data but plenty of corporate results. Two of the main themes so far this earnings season have been improved profitability at financial firms and more optimistic outlooks from industrials. Big-cap tech names such as Microsoft, Google, and Intel, however, have disappointed.

Interest rates have been declining after a hair-raising spike in May and June, helping support sentiment. Commodities and metals have also shown signs of bottoming in the last week, which reflects increased confidence toward the global economy.

The S&P 500 has closed at peak levels in six of the last eight sessions. The Russell 2000 small-cap index has been even stronger and now stands more than 4 percent above its May highs. Gains have also been widely distributed across the market on a sector basis, with no major areas showing clean dominance over the other.

Our researchLAB market scanner has shown money flowing into Chinese equities over the last week, especially online gaming companies, Internet stocks, and solar-energy companies. Staffing companies have also rallied on an improved employment situation, ocean shippers have benefited from a sharp rise in the Baltic Dry Index of cargo rates, and telecom suppliers have gained on hopes of more capital spending later this year. In addition, gold and silver miners have outperformed as investors look for those stocks to rebound from massive long-term selloffs.

Physical gold and silver bullion are up about 2 percent this morning. Copper, viewed as a bellwether for the global economy, rose almost 1 percent. Oil is posting smaller gains and agricultural products are mixed. The euro, Australian dollar and Canadian dollar, which tend to follow global economic sentiment, rose. The Japanese yen is also showing some strength, which tends to reflect caution.

In company-specific news, oil-services giant Halliburton rose almost 2 percent after earnings and revenue beat expectations. Management also cited improving demand in the Middle East and China and increased its stock buyback plan. Hasbro missed expectations, following similarly weak results in toymakers such as Mattel and Jakks Pacific as children shift to electronic devices. McDonald's fell after its earnings missed expectations. 
Share this article with your friends

Related Stories


Weak China data pressures stocks

October 13, 2015

S&P 500 futures are off 0.4 percent, while Nasdaq 100 futures are down 0.5 percent, but both are off their worst levels of the pre-market session.


J&J, JP Morgan, Intel earnings due

October 13, 2015

Another speech by a Federal Reserve official is on tap for this morning, but attention will quickly turn to quarterly results as the season begins in earnest.


Futures little-changed after rallies

October 12, 2015

Stock-index futures are little-changed this morning after last week's rallies, as U.S. trading is expected to be thin on this Columbus Day federal holiday.


Three Fed speeches on calendar

October 12, 2015

The markets are open on today's Columbus Day session, but no major economic releases are scheduled as attention turns increasingly to corporate earnings.


Rally continues, lifted by commodities

October 9, 2015

S&P 500 futures are up 0.2 percent, while most of Europe is higher by more than 1 percent. Tokyo and Shanghai led Asia with gains of more than 1 percent as well.


Premium Services

Archived Webinar

Education & Strategy

The protective put strategy

The Protective Put Strategy is a stock friendly which makes it great for individual investors. It is composed of a long stock position and a one to one ratio put position. This means that you own 1 put for every 100 shares of stock.

View more education articles »