Stocks rebound as metals stabilize
David Russell | [email protected]
S&P 500 futures are up by more than half a percent and have been gaining in the last hour. Europe is trying to fight back from earlier losses. Asian stocks were mixed but little-changed in the overnight session. Precious metals are stabilizing after starting the week with historic declines.
Bad economic news and bombings at the Boston Marathon caused a 2.3 percent drop yesterday, but attention will now increasingly focus on the stream of quarterly results coming from companies such as Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Johnson, and Coca-Cola this morning, followed by tech giants Intel and Yahoo this afternoon.
Today's main economic headlines are housing starts and building permits at 8:30 a.m., followed by industrial production 45 minutes later. Consumer prices will also be reported but will probably not have a big impact on sentiment because inflation hasn't been a concern recently.
Monday's pullback brought the S&P 500 back to a potential support level where it consolidated between mid-March and last week. The question now facing investors is whether they should worry about signs of a slowing economy or focus on corporate results, which have inspired buying in recent quarters.
Foreign-exchange markets are also painting a much more optimistic picture today, with the euro and Australian dollar up by more than half a percent against the U.S. dollar. The Japanese yen, which tends to move in the opposite direction as stocks, is plunging by more than a full percentage point.
Commodities are mixed after yesterday's rout. Gold is up almost 2 percent after cratering 8 percent, while silver and copper are posting small gains. Energy prices are little-changed, and agricultural products are modestly higher.
In company-specific news, GS, JNJ, and KO are all posting small gains after reporting strong quarterly results. HCA, however, forecast weak revenue, making it the second hospital operator in the last week to issue weak guidance. (See our researchLAB tool for more on the industry group.)