Skip to main content

Following yesterday's precipitous decline in the

Dow and the

Nasdaq, stock futures are rising this morning even though violence in the Middle East hasn't abated.

Major markets tallied significant losses yesterday set off by concerns about the rising threat of war in the region. At the same time, bond prices jumped because investors tend to seek the safety of Treasury Securities in unsure times.

wrote a complete story about how the bond market reacted in a

separate story yesterday.

The political situation in the Middle East and today's economic releases are likely to have a greater effect on the market this morning than today's earnings reports, which are limited to just four

S&P 500 companies. Data on September

retail sales and the September

Producer Price Index will be released this morning. The monthly retail sales figures are a chief indication of the strength or weakness in consumer spending. The Producer Price Index is the market's key indicator of wholesale inflation, or inflation at the producer level.

Stock futures are being helped by the strong earnings reports last night from



and networking company


TheStreet Recommends

(JNPR) - Get Juniper Networks, Inc. Report


took a close look at

Gateway and

Juniper in separate stories last night.

Of late,

S&P 500 futures were traded at 1349, up 4.5 points and about 6.3 points above

fair value, as calculated by


Nasdaq 100

futures were traded at 3070, up 23.50 points and 31 points above fair value, indicating some strength for tech stocks at the open. The pattern of late, however, has been that strength at the open has been used as an opportunity in recent weeks for investors to begin selling holdings.

Oil prices are down this morning. There are reports on


that Saudi Arabia, the leading oil producer among OPEC countries, has not yet raised the issue of an oil embargo. November crude oil futures traded on the

New York Mercantile Exchange

lately traded at $35.90, down from last night's $36.06 close.


(NOK) - Get Nokia Oyj Report

was the most actively traded stock on


this morning, rising to $30.81 from its $29.44 close. The stock dropped $5.56 in the last two days on worries of slowing sales growth for mobile phones, after rival



issued a bleak fourth-quarter outlook.



earnings report from last night was met with little enthusiasm. After meeting analyst expectations for earnings, but issuing somewhat disappointing revenue results, the stock is trading at $14.50 this morning, off from $18.13 yesterday.

Meanwhile, Juniper Networks is rising in preopen trading after reporting its strong results last night. The stock is at $207.75 on 5,000 shares traded, up from $199.63 yesterday.

So how are overseas markets reacting? Not well. Most major European and Asian markets fell sharply this morning. In Paris, the

CAC 40

lost 71.72 to 5918.9 and London's

FTSE 100

lost 67.70 to 6064.20. Frankfurt's

Xetra Dax

was gaining, however, adding 15.19 to 6480.45.

Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

dropped 394.30, or 2.6%, to 14680.50, while Tokyo's

Nikkei 225

lost 220.33, or 1.4%, to close at 15330.31.

For Thursday's postclose trading, see The Night Watch.