For the first time since her tragic shooting, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords returns to Washington to cast her vote, helping the House of Representatives to pass the debt ceiling bill. The Senate vote is today at noon and is expected to pass, to be sent to President Obama's desk this evening.
Despite a potential end to the debt-ceiling impasse, S&P 500 futures are negative, down nearly 1% in early trading as investors turn their attention to weak U.S. economic data. Last Friday, the sluggish GDP number was overshadowed by the debt ceiling debate. Yesterday, weak U.S. manufacturing data turned profit-taking into outright selling, before a rally into the close. Overseas markets remain weak, with the MSCI Asia Pacific Index down nearly 2%, while the Stoxx Europe 600 index is down 1%.
Meanwhile, the SPDR Gold Trust ETF (GLD) and the iShares Silver Trust ETF (SLV) are in positive territory, both up nearly 1%. Investors fear that slowing global growth may hurt the ability of governments to repay debts. Although gold stocks like Goldcorp (GG) and Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM) remain surprisingly weak despite the move in precious metals.
Technology stocks continued to show market leadership during yesterday's heavy selling as Apple (AAPL) and Baidu (BIDU) closed positive, while Google (GOOG) stayed above the $600 level. Amazon (AMZN) briefly touched all-time highs and Sohu (SOHU) reported earnings that beat estimates before both going negative on the day. Traders sold Sina (SINA) ahead of earnings this week.SodaStream (SODA) also showed relative strength yesterday as it traded above its $75 resistance level, while Goldman Sachs (GS) continues to consolidate after a post-earnings move off 52-week lows. However, companies that are more representative of the broader economy such as General Electric (GE), American Airlines (AA) and Caterpillar (CAT) appear bearish on the charts. Also 3M (MMM) remains well below its major moving averages and yesterday's manufacturing number only created more selling pressure in the stock. Ford (F) and General Motors (GM) will be in focus today with data on auto and truck sales coming out at 3pm. Disclosures: Scott Redler is long BIDU, SPY, AAPL, LVS, JCP
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