Stocks up amid key economic data

optionMONSTER

Stocks are climbing again today as the market begins a holiday week with some key economic data.

S&P 500 futures are up almost half a percent. European markets are up across the board, led by higher-risk countries such as Spain and Italy. Asian markets mostly climbed in the overnight session as Japan's Nikkei advanced more than 1 percent and Hong Kong added almost 2 percent.

The S&P 500 has retraced about one-third of its pullback that occurred between May 22 and June 24. Investors have been reacting to increasingly upbeat economic news in developed markets such as the United States, Japan, and Europe, while developing countries like China, India, and Brazil have struggled.

Earlier today, for instance, Japan's Tankan manufacturing sentiment turned positive for the first time in two years while China's industrial activity declined in June. Attention will now focus on the U.S., where the Institute of Supply Management reports its manufacturing index at 10 a.m. ET.

ADP's private-sector payrolls follow on Wednesday morning and the national employment-situation report is scheduled for Friday. Market activity is interrupted by Independence Day on Thursday, July 4. There is also an early close at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, so volumes are likely to be very light as the week progresses.

Strength has been scattered across several areas in the market as stocks bounced in the last week. Utilities and real-estate investment trusts have led the advance as they rebound from a selloff in May. Consumer-discretionary names such as automakers, mobile homes and luxury mattresses have been even stronger, while financials have also regained their bullish momentum from earlier in the year. Emerging markets and precious metals have also been trying to recover from major selloffs. Energy and materials have lagged. (See researchLAB for more.)

Foreign-exchange and commodity markets are showing patterns that are typical in a bullish market, with the euro and Australian dollar up and the Japanese yen lower across the board. Oil rose two-thirds of a percent and copper surged more than 2 percent. Agricultural foodstuffs are modestly higher. Gold is up 1 percent and silver is down slightly. Both could see heavy activity as they sit near multi-year lows.

In company-specific news, Onyx Pharmaceuticals is rocketing 50 percent after rejecting a takeover offer from Amgen and announcing it would seek other buyers. InterDigital is indicated lower after losing a mobile-technology patent ruling against foreign companies including Nokia.

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