Skip to main content

Stocks Hover After Runup

Google gets another upgrade.

Bulls dispersed early Wednesday as the previous session's fireworks gave way to premarket consolidation amid a normalizing yield curve.

Index futures recently showed the

S&P 500

trading 2 points below fair value, while the Nasdaq 100 was set for a 3-point decline. The 10-year Treasury bond was up 2/32 in price to yield 4.36%, six points above the yield on the two-year note. The dollar rose against the yen and fell against the euro.

Oil prices eased after vaulting to a two-month high Tuesday. February crude, which got a 5% lift from a supply drama pitting Russia and the Ukraine, was recently down 62 cents to $62.52 a barrel in electronic Nymex trading.

Overseas markets were higher on the heels of Tuesday's 1.2% rally on the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

, with London's FTSE 100 recently adding 0.5% to 5707 and Germany's Xetra DAX adding 0.7% to 5497. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei gained 1.6% overnight to 16,362, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 1.7% to 15,200.

Stocks took off Tuesday after the release of minutes from the Dec. 19 meeting of the

Federal Open Market Committee

that suggested the current crop of interest rate hikes is nearing an end. The Dow rose 130 points for its best performance since October, while the S&P 500 and

Nasdaq Composite

had their biggest one-day point gains since April.

Traders took their cue from a line in the minutes showing most FOMC members believe they are no longer committed to a "large" number of interest rate hikes in coming months. The language preceded the


13th consecutive quarter-point rate hike and a policy statement that suggested members believe a 4.25% fed funds rate amounts to neutral monetary policy.

TheStreet Recommends

In the news Wednesday,


(GOOG) - Get Alphabet Inc. Class C Report

rose early after Bear Stearns upgraded the stock to outperform and set a $550 price target. The brokerage said Google is seeding a self-reinforcing "ecosystem" that should set the stage for long-term growth in its fundamentals. Google rose 5% Tuesday after Piper Jaffray set a $600 target on the shares.

One stock left out of Tuesday's fireworks was

General Motors

(GM) - Get General Motors Company Report

, which fell after being downgraded at Bank of America on concerns about labor negotiations. GM,


(F) - Get Ford Motor Company Report




are scheduled to report December car sales later Wednesday.

Estee Lauder

(EL) - Get Estee Lauder Companies Inc. Class A Report

caught a bid late Tuesday after being added to the S&P 500 to replace

Mercury Interactive


, which the Nasdaq is delisting. Standard & Poor's also said

Per Se Technologies

(PSTI) - Get Pluristem Therapeutics Inc. Report

will be added to the S&P SmallCap 600, replacing