Options Trading News

August 29, 2013  Thu 7:09 AM CT

Stocks are higher this morning, trying to rebound from a selloff earlier in the week.

S&P 500 futures are at their highs of the session, up about one-third of a percent, following gains of a similar magnitude in Europe. Asia was mostly positive in the overnight session as a weaker Japanese yen lifted the Nikkei almost 1 percent. India's Sensex rallied more than 2 percent after the country's central bank announced measures to halt the rupee's recent slide.

The S&P 500 has been pulling back during August as investors take profits after an eight-month rally drove the index to new record highs. It seesawed in a range yesterday, attempting to hold its ground after concerns about conflict with Syria triggered a 1.4 percent drop on Tuesday.

There are few major reports on the economic calendar before the long Labor Day weekend. The Commerce Department is expected to revise its second-quarter gross domestic product estimate higher and the Labor Department will report weekly jobless claims. Both headlines come at 8:30 a.m. ET. Next week's calendar is much more active, with manufacturing data from the China, the United States and Europe, plus key employment numbers.

Energy has been the strongest sector over the last week as investors focus on the Syrian news and an improving global economy. Utilities have also benefited while financials have lagged.

Commodities are mostly lower today, led by declines of almost 1 percent in the price of oil. Precious metals are down by more than half a percent, while copper is posting a smaller drop.

Dollar strength is a theme again in foreign-exchange markets as the greenback advances against both the euro and the Japanese yen.

In company-specific news, apparel stock Guess is sharply higher after earnings and sales beat expectations. Telecom giants Verizon Communications and Vodafone are also up by more than 5 percent amid news the British company may agree to sell its 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless.
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