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Stocks try to rebound from selloff

David Russell (david.russell@optionmonster.com)

Equities are trying to rebound after their second sharp decline in a week yesterday.

S&P 500 futures are up more than half a percent and have been climbing in the last hour, amid moves of a similar magnitude in Europe. Asian bourses fell in the overnight session, but not as much as one might expect given the 1.38 percent slide in the United States. Japan's Nikkei closed down 0.85 percent and Shanghai shed 1.27 percent.

Perhaps more importantly, the U.S. dollar-Japanese yen exchange rate held the 99 level needed for its upward trend to remain intact. That's been a key ingredient to the recent rally because it's channeled money into stocks and increased the competitiveness of companies in one of the world's biggest economies.

Yesterday's pullback brought the S&P 500 within 4 points of its 50-day moving average, the same place it bounced in April, but it's still trading at levels unseen barely a month ago. The question now facing investors is whether to put money to work now or to wait for an even steeper correction.

Less than an hour ago, the European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged thanks to an improving regional economy. That matches an emerging sentiment in the United States that monetary stimulus is decreasingly necessary. Another report earlier this morning showed that layoffs continue to decline.

Initial jobless claims follow at 8:30 a.m. ET, and the key non-farm payrolls report is scheduled for the same time tomorrow.

Currencies and commodities are mostly bullish, with oil and the euro higher while the Japanese yen ticks lower. Copper is down by more than 1 percent, however, and most agricultural products are also lower.

In company-specific news, several consumer-related stocks are down following weak results: Ascena Retail, Vera Bradley, and Francesca's. monthly sales at L Brands and Costco also missed expectations but neither are trading actively in extended hours.

VeriFone  is indicated lower by 15 percent after issuing disappointing guidance. SodaStream had also rallied on reports that it may be acquired by PepsiCo, but the deal has now been denied by PEP.

Network-equipment company Ciena is also rallying on a surprise profit, one day after Juniper Networks said telecom companies would increase spending later this year.

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