Options Trading News

June 19, 2013  Wed 7:12 AM CT

Equities are little-changed this morning after a strong close yesterday as investors brace for the Federal Reserve's announcement at 2 p.m. ET.

Most European indexes are fractionally lower and near their lows of the session. Asian markets were mixed in the overnight session as Japan's Nikkei gained almost 2 percent but China fell about 1 percent.

The S&P 500 peaked at 1687 on May 22, only to retreat as investors worried the Fed would reduce monetary stimulus measures. It found support earlier this month at its 50-day moving average and has now been muscling higher since. The index climbed steadily yesterday, ending the session up 0.78 percent.

Perhaps more importantly, its 10-day moving average is now climbing for the first time this month--suggesting that short-term momentum is turning bullish again.

Our proprietary researchLAB market scanner also shows outperformance over the last week in economically sensitive sectors such as energy, industrials, and consumer-discretionary stocks. That indicates that investors expect further economic growth later this year.

After the Fed today, tomorrow will be the week's busiest session of economic releases. It starts early in the morning with Chinese manufacturing numbers, European service-sector data, and then initial jobless claims in the United States.

There is very little volatility in foreign-exchange or commodity markets so far today. Oil, copper, the euro, and Australian dollar are fractionally higher. But the Japanese yen, which tends to move in the opposite direction as stocks, is also up slightly.

In company-specific news, FedEx is roughly flat after reporting better-than-expected profit but revenue that lagged estimates. Adobe Systems is set to rally 6 percent as customers embrace its new online revenue model, resulting in strong quarterly results.

Dell could also be active after billionaire investor Carl Icahn increased his stake in the computer maker and urged the company to buy back shares rather than accept a takeover by led by founder Michael Dell.
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