Options Trading News

January 6, 2014  Mon 7:14 AM CT

Stocks are climbing today, attempting to bounce from a quick pullback last week.

S&P 500 futures are up more than 0.2 percent while Europe is led by gains of almost 1 percent in Italy and Spain. Asia was mostly weak in the overnight session. Tokyo fell more than 2 percent after being closed for the holiday and Shanghai posted a similar decline on weak economic data.

Purchasing managers indexes reflected slowing growth in China, while the European situation continued to show improvement. The results were similar with manufacturing numbers released last week. Attention will now focus on the Institute for Supply Management's non-manufacturing index at 10 a.m. ET.

The S&P 500 declined its first two sessions of 2014, but is still within 1 percent of its all-time high on New Year's Eve. The index has also managed to hold support at its 10-day moving average, suggesting that bullish momentum remains intact.

Equities have been rallying for the last year as cash comes off the sidelines and the economy improves. While most sectors have performed well, our researchLAB market scanner shows strength over the last week in 3-D printers, car-rental companies, airlines, and hospital operators. Gold and silver miners have also attempted to rebound from long-term selloffs. Select Chinese companies that trade in the United States have rallied as well.

The flow of catalysts will increase as this week progresses. Tomorrow afternoon brings earnings from Micron Technologies, the third-strongest member of the S&P 500 in the last year. Wednesday features ADP's monthly private-sector payroll report, minutes from the last Federal Reserve meeting, and quarterly results from Monsanto. The government's key non-farm payrolls report is on Friday morning, followed by a heavy earnings calendar next week.

In company-specific news, merger-and-acquisition activity continues to build. Men's Wearhouse and Jos. A Bank are both up more than 5 percent after MW raised its hostile takeover offer of JOSB to $57.50 a share from $55. Pacer International accepted a $335 million cash-and-stock takeover by XPO Logistics. Sirius XM Holding also rose 8 percent on news that Liberty Media wants to buy out minority shareholders. Goldman Sachs also added SolarCity to its "conviction buy" list, sending it up 6 percent.

Energy futures are higher, as Brent crude oil, and natural-gas climb almost 1 percent. Metals are weak, with silver down almost 1 percent and copper lower by half a percent. Agricultural products are modestly higher. Most currencies are little-changed.
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