Options Trading News

May 30, 2013  Thu 7:15 AM CT

Stocks are higher today after the S&P 500 made a lower high yesterday.

Index futures are up more than one-third of a percent, following bigger gains in Europe. Asian markets were mostly lower in the overnight session, punctuated by a 5 percent drop in Tokyo.

The S&P 500 has been moving sideways for the last week after reversing from an all-time high on May 22. It has remained above a key consolidation level from earlier in the month and has been making higher lows, suggesting that the longer-term uptrend remains intact.

There have also been few signs of risk aversion setting in, according to our researchLAB market scanner. Conservative sectors such as utilities, consumer staples, and health care lagged the broader market during yesterday's 0.7 percent pullback in the SPX, while riskier allocations including energy and technology outperformed.

The selloff in Treasuries this month is a big part of the story because it's driven money out of "safe" investments while reducing the allure of dividend-paying stocks such as tobacco and telecoms. The big question now facing investors is whether bonds will continue to slide. If they do, even more cash could flow into equities.

Today's calendar of events brings initial jobless claims and a revised estimate for first-quarter economic growth, both at 8:30 a.m. ET. Earlier in the day, a gauge of European economic sentiment came in better than expected.

Foreign-exchange trading is mostly bullish today, with the euro higher and the Japanese yen lower across the board. Commodities are more mixed, as oil declines by half a percent and grains fall. Precious metals, however, are climbing once again.

In company-specific news, Clearwire is up more than 20 percent after Dish Network made an offer to buy the company, which had already received a takeover offer from Sprint Nextel. Discount retailer Big Lots fell more than 7 percent after issuing weak guidance. Avago Technologies, a maker of mobile chips, is up 5 percent after issuing strong guidance on revived smart-phone demand.
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