Stocks aren't yet too sure where they're headed this morning with futures grazing quietly in the flatlands.
At 9:04 a.m. EDT, the
S&P 500 futures
were unchanged, a little over 1 point above fair value and not a clear indication for the open. The
futures were up 24.25 points, a possible indication of some light buying pressure in the early going.
Considering the market's recent gymnastics, one day's action doesn't mean a whole lot of anything. Analysts have been saying we should continue to see volatility and chop for a few weeks. And, well, that's what we've been seeing. So Tuesday's 218.72 rise in the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
and the 228.75 jump in the
Nasdaq Composite Index
on the heels of Monday's plunge and late afternoon rally don't mean we are necessarily in for more green today or in the short term. But then again it could.
"It's certainly going to continue to yo-yo," said Brad Benshop, vice president at
JP Morgan Futures
"But you can't ignore yesterday's rally. I'm still bullish as long as the Nasdaq
100 futures contract stays above 3535," Benshop said.
"I could like buying dips in there," he said.
Nasdaq 100 futures closed at 3535 on Thursday and 3645 Tuesday.
Many Wall Streeters think yesterday's impressive, broad tech-led rebound means that the storm is clearing and the market has already bottomed out. Indeed, yesterday's bounce finally saw the kind of breadth and volume traders had been looking for. Earnings continue to look good and investors are still desperate to snap up good values and cheap stocks. Even battered Net stocks got a boost yesterday.
But most analysts still say the market will have to wait a few months for the next major broad-based move in technology. Inflation fears persist and with the quarter employment cost index, a key measure of wage inflation, set to be released tomorrow, investors may be nervous enough to cash in on these highs. Most market watchers still contend that the market has changed for good and is looking for new leadership.
"What make me bullish is that, after plunging, the Nasdaq has retested lows and held these levels. But I don't necessarily think were going to scream to new highs," Benshop added.
Earnings will likely continue to serve as a compass for investors today. The day's
The bond market was edging up after losing ground yesterday, with the 10-year note up 4/32 to 102 25/32 and yielding 6.116%. Meanwhile, no major market-moving data are in the pipeline today.
European bourses were bouncing up near midsession on yesterday's U.S. rallies, particularly tech. The Paris
was 116.30 higher to 6436.59, while Frankfurt's
was up 141.37 to 7421.88. Across the channel, London's
rose 34.1 to 6317.1.
The euro continued to slip and was trading down at $0.9188.
Asian markets fell out of the Nasdaq saddle overnight, and Tokyo and Hong Kong indexes ended the day down as they focused more on domestic issues and interest-rate fears. Hong Kong's
index lost 152.62 to 15,227.39 after reports suggesting growing tensions between Taipei and Beijing killed an early rally.
And in Tokyo, the
average ended 138.02 lower to 18134.31 after investors began profit-taking in those stocks that spiked when they joined the reconstituted Nikkei earlier this week.
Investors flustered by the euro's continuing slide bought up the yen and dollar yesterday, and the dollar closed slightly lower at 105.61. The greenback was higher again in recent trading at 106.35 yen.
For a look at stocks in the preopen news, see Stocks to Watch, published separately.