Stocks Hovering at Multi-Year Highs

Stocks are hovering in a range today after hitting another multi-year high yesterday.

Sentiment was brighter in the overnight session after China reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter gross domestic product. Japan rallied almost 3 percent, and Shanghai advanced more than 1 percent. But European indexes have been weakening through the morning as investors hesitate to put money to work following recent gains.

That has S&P 500 futures unchanged after slight gains earlier. The Nasdaq 100 is the most negative of the major benchmarks, indicated to fall by about one-third of 1 percent, after semiconductor giant Intel offered a cautious outlook yesterday afternoon.

The S&P 500 has been climbing since Dec. 31, when politicians in Washington reached a deal to avoid painful spending cuts and tax hikes. Data from the U.S. labor and housing markets, plus China and other parts of Asia, have continued to improve.

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