Options Trading News

October 24, 2013  Thu 7:12 AM CT

Stocks are rebounding from a modest pullback yesterday, lifted by strong economic numbers from China.

S&P 500 futures are climbing about 0.4 percent, while the Nasdaq 100 and Russell 2000 indexes are posting smaller gains. Most European markets are up about half a percent. Asia was mixed in the overnight session, with Tokyo advancing slightly and Shanghai falling almost 1 percent.

A survey of purchasing managers in China showed manufacturing accelerating at its strongest pace in seven months. Similar surveys for Europe were less impressive, especially in regional leader Germany.

Attention now turns to corporate earnings and United States data. Ford Motor is up 3.5 percent after results beat expectations and management raised guidance. Homebuilder PulteGroup is also climbing after higher prices drove a strong set of numbers. Tech names Symantec and Akamai fell on weak guidance, while semiconductor-equipment company Lam Research is muscling its way higher.

The S&P 500 has been climbing almost uninterrupted since bouncing near its 100-day moving average on Oct. 9. Highly leveraged financials, such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, bond guarantors, and private-equity firms, have led the advance thanks to improved credit quality.

Our researchLAB market-intelligence tool has also shown strength in oil refiners, solar stocks, and metals during that period. On a broader sector level, industrials, materials, and real-estate investment trusts have outperformed as well.

The Labor Department will announce initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET, followed by Markit's index of manufacturing activity 28 minutes later. The data could move markets as investors try to anticipate the tone of the Federal Reserve's monetary announcement next Wednesday, Oct. 30.

Commodities and modestly bullish, with oil and copper eking out small gains. Gold and silver rose more than half a percent, while agricultural products are lower. U.S. dollar strength is the main theme in foreign-exchange markets as the euro, yen, and Australian and Canadian dollars all decline against the greenback.
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