Options Trading News

February 11, 2013  Mon 7:15 AM CT

Stocks are drifting higher this morning despite weakness in commodities and signs of potential problems in Europe.

S&P 500 futures are up about 0.2 percent, while France's CAC-40 is the strongest index across the Atlantic with a gain of 0.5 percent. Japanese and Chinese markets were closed for holidays. The S&P 500 finished last week at its highest price in more than five years amid signs of improving economic growth.

Attention may shift back toward politics this week--especially tomorrow, when European finance ministers conclude a meeting and President Obama makes his State of the Union Address. While German economic data has been especially strong recently, borrowing costs have been edging higher for the Spain and Italy.

The big question now facing investors is whether there is enough positive economic momentum to overcome those countries' debt problems. Italy also has elections on Feb. 24 and 25.

The foreign-exchange market continues to show bullish momentum in the two key areas of euro strength and Japanese-yen weakness. But other currencies associated with global growth, the Australian and Canadian dollars, are lower. Oil, copper, and most other commodities are down as well.

In company-specific news, French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi is indicated higher by about 4 percent after the Food and Drug Administration refused to approve new medicines that could weaken its hold on the market for insulin treatments.
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