Options Trading News

October 23, 2012  Tue 7:01 AM CT

Stocks are falling this morning as earnings weaken and confidence sours in Europe.

S&P 500 futures are down more than 1 percent, following declines of a similar magnitude in France and Germany. Asian markets were mixed overnight.

Today's drop comes after the S&P 500 rebounded from a sharp selloff in yesterday's session as investors face a flow of negative headlines: Moody's downgraded five of Spain's regional governments, French manufacturing sentiment dropped to its lowest level in more than two years, and earnings reports have continued to paint a picture of weakening performance.

The tone has been especially negative in technology, punctuated yesterday afternoon when chip maker Texas Instruments and hard-drive manufacturer Western Digital issued disappointing guidance. This morning chemicals giant DuPont is down by more than 5 percent after earnings missed consensus estimates and outlook trailed expectations. Industrial conglomerate 3M also lowered its projections.

Currencies and foreign-exchange markets are showing risk aversion, with oil, copper, and silver all down more than 1 percent. Agricultural foodstuffs are mostly negative as well. The euro, Australian dollar and Canadian dollar are all down against the U.S. dollar, while the Japanese yen is up across the board.
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