Options Trading News

November 28, 2012  Wed 7:11 AM CT

Stocks are down after stalling at a key level yesterday amid persistent worries about the "fiscal cliff" facing the federal government.

The S&P 500 is indicated to open lower by more than a quarter of a percent, following losses of a similar magnitude across the Atlantic. Indexes fell more dramatically in Asia during the overnight session.

The S&P 500 snapped back sharply from a big selloff in early November, but has been unable to get back above its 100-day moving average for the last three sessions. The recent peaks were also a support level from late October, which could suggest that resistance is taking shape.

Attention continues to focus on the risk that U.S. tax rates will automatically rise and spending will fall on Jan. 1 unless politicians reach agreement on issues that have divided them for years. Indecision is also plaguing Europe, where leaders have taken only baby steps toward fixing Greece's colossal debt problem.

Currencies and commodities are signaling nervousness, as well. The euro, Australian dollar, and Canadian dollar are lower, while the Japanese yen is higher across the board. Oil, copper, silver and gold are down by about half a percent, while agricultural foodstuffs are all negative.

Some companies are indicated to open higher despite the negative tone in the broader market. Retailer Express is up 15 percent after strong Black Friday sales let management issue a stronger-than-expected profit forecast for the fourth quarter.

Warehouse Costco is also higher by almost 4 percent after reporting strong sales and announcing a special dividend. The Fresh Market, however, is down 10 percent after its guidance was weaker than forecast.
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