Intraday Market Update
The S&P 500 futures were strong overnight reaching a high of 1,180. But then immediately sold off -30 points and dipping below flash crash levels, hitting a low just after the open at 1,151.75. But buyers immediately stepped in sending the futures more than +28 points higher to 1,179.50. In early trading the major indexes are teetering between positive and negative territory.
German lawmakers approved their contribution to a $1 trillion safety net to stabilize the euro on Friday. The country's lower house approved up to 148 billion euros in loan guarantees in addition to a 22.4 billion euro contribution to the package for debt laden Greece. The upper house is due to approve the move later on Friday. Chancellor Angela Merkel failed to rally the backing needed to ease public opposition to bailing out weaker euro zone countries. On Thursday leaders of Germany and France pledged to work together to solve the debt crises and support the euro.
Under sweeping financial regulation that has now passed the House and Senate, Congress is getting tougher on both borrowers and lenders blamed for inflating a housing bubble that contributed to the severe recession that started two years ago. Home buyers won't be able to get a mortgage without producing pay stubs or other evidence they can make their monthly payments. A new consumer watchdog will police lenders who offer speculative adjustable rate sub-prime mortgages. Critics argue the bill doesn't tackle the issues at the core of the financial crises.
In earnings news, Dell reported an adjusted profit that was higher than a year ago and topped analysts' expectations, but shares of the company are off more than -4% as it warned of volatile global currencies and component shortages. GAP posted Q1 earnings that topped estimates and also raised its 2010 outlook. Shares of GPS are about breakeven but well off of their lows. Ann Taylor Stores reported better than expected quarterly earnings on Friday as sales were stronger than it expected. ANN is up +4% but well off of its highs.
There is nothing on the economic calendar on Friday. Trading is sure to be volatile as options expiration for May comes to an end.
Commodities are mixed in early trading. Front month crude is off -1.00% to $70.00 per barrel. Gold is down -0.90% to 1,178 per ounce, while silver is off by -0.75%. Natural gas is higher by +1.00% and copper is sharply higher +4.25% regaining some of its recent -12% decline.
International markets were mostly lower on Friday. Notable losers in the Asia-Pacific region Japan (-2.54%) and South Korea (-1.83%). China tacjked on +1.08%. European markets were also mostly lower led by Germany (-1.96%), London (-1.18%), and France (-0.54%). Italy and Spain were slightly positive.
Core Sector List:
Overall reading: 9 sectors advancing, 7 sectors declining.
Strongest Sectors: Broker Dealers, Semiconductors, Oil Services
Weakest Sectors: Internet, Pharmaceuticals, Healthcare
S&P 500 - Daily and 30-minute Intraday Charts:
Dow Jones - Daily and 30-minute Intraday Charts:
NASDAQ - Daily and 30-minute Intraday Charts:
Russell 2000 - Daily and 30-minute Intraday Charts: