Equities tread water near highs

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Stocks are little-changed today as they consolidate from Wednesday's big rally.

S&P 500 futures are down fractionally, following similar moves in Europe. Asia was mixed in the overnight session after equities posted a modest drop.

The S&P 500 ripped to an all-time high earlier this week after the Federal Reserve stunned markets by keeping bond purchases in place. While the move is intended to keep interest rates lower, bond yields rebounded yesterday and are inching higher again today.

There are no economic releases on the calendar today, but attention might focus on speeches by several Fed members in the afternoon: Esther George of the Kansas City Fed at 12:30 p.m. ET, Daniel Tarullo of the central bank's Board of Governors at 12:40 p.m. ET, and James Bullard of the St. Louis Fed at 12:55 p.m. ET.

Price action has increasingly reflected a sense that economic growth will remain strong or accelerate. Our r esearchLAB market scanner shows that materials, industrials, and transports have outperformed the broader market in the last month and the last week. Emerging-market stocks, makers of expensive consumer durables such as washing machines and motor homes, and housing-related names have also been strong.

Next week's economic calendar shifts focus to the housing market, which has remained strong despite higher borrowing costs.

Currencies offer little clue on direction, with the euro and yen both up slightly. Commodity trading is cautious, with oil lower and agricultural foodstuffs down across the board. Gold and silver are down 1 percent and 2 percent respectively, retreating from Wednesday's big surge.

Tibco Software is the big mover in company-specific news, climbing 8 percent in early trading after third-quarter profit beat analyst estimates.

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