Stocks are looking pretty flat this morning but may get a little bounce, and futures are dipping into the green after flip-flopping in a narrow range earlier this morning.
At 9:05 a.m. EDT, the
S&P 500 futures
were up 2.1 points, over four points above fair value and not much of an indication for the early going. The
futures were up 12.5 points, signaling mild buying pressure in large-cap technology stocks at the open.
It's not easy to say where this market is headed today. With earnings season coming to a close, little economic data today or tomorrow, and a whole month to kill before the Fed meets again, stocks are facing a virtual news vacuum. Volume has been skeletal in recent weeks, and with so much uncertainty in the air, investors will likely continue sitting on the sidelines.
That means volatility.
Yesterday's action saw a four-day rally slip into a slump, and today investors could either continue profit-taking or return to their rallying ways. Cool inflation numbers in recent days and hopes this month's interest-rate increase would be the last helped fuel the rally, but the
managed to squelch some of that optimism Tuesday. After raising rates to 6.5%, the Fed voiced continuing concerns over inflation, suggesting there are more increases to come.
"The market should see some more sideways activity for a day or so as it consolidates gains off the last week and figures out what to focus on going forward," said Todd Clark, head of listed trading at
W. R. Hambrecht
Despite yesterday's decline, the
Nasdaq Composite Index
is still up about 10% and the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
is up around 4% from last Wednesday's close.
Meanwhile, Clark expects some group rotation and said investors will probably ditch interest-rate sensitive financials and housing stocks for consumer non-durables.
Still on the hot stocks list,
is turning around in off-hours trading after taking a beating yesterday. The stock is getting some steam from trading in Europe. Lycos agreed to be bought by Spain's
for $12.5 billion Tuesday night, the largest-ever combination of a telecom company and Internet portal.
And telecommunications company
could get hit today as its $115 buyout of
is being questioned by the antitrust authorities.
Of course, there are a still some earnings reports left, and today's list includes
The Treasury market was edging down narrowly this morning, and the 10-year note was down 2/32 to 99 31/32 and yielding 6.500%.
European bourses were ignoring U.S. markets drop yesterday and were bouncing up at midsession.
was up 16.46 to 6469.51, while Frankfurt's
was 8.74 higher to 7220.25. Across the channel, London's
was just in the green, up 49.9 to 6246.1.
The euro was trading down at $0.8944.
Asian markets closed painfully lower overnight on interest-rate fears.
In Hong Kong,
index hit a six-month low, partly on changes to the key Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) index weightings. After major Hang Seng constituent, Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd , was dropped from the MSCI Hong Kong index, the Hang Seng closed down 505.21, or 3.41%, to 14322.60.
fell sharply lower on weak tech stocks, and closed down 372.40, or 2.14%, to 17031.63.
The dollar eased from highs after failing to break the 110 level to the yen and ended the Tokyo trading session at 108.93 yen. The greenback was lately higher at 109.14.
For a look at stocks in the preopen news, see Stocks to Watch, published separately.