Equities Pause a Day After Big Rally

Stocks are inching lower this morning as investors take profits following Wednesday’s sharp rally.

S&P 500 futures are down about two-tenths of a percent and have been rebounding in the last hour. Europe is posting similar declines, while Asia was mostly higher in the overnight session.

The S&P 500 surged 1.4 percent yesterday as politicians in Washington agreed to raise the country’s debt ceiling and reopen the government. The index has run 4.5 percent over the space of just six days. It began that move by testing support at its 100-day moving average, the third time this year it bounced sharply from that key level.  The benchmark is back within striking distance of its all-time high from mid-September, while the Russell 2000 small cap index closed at a record level.

Attention will now focus on economic news and corporate earnings. Investors also face the unusual situation of receiving reports such as monthly retail sales and non-farm payrolls long after their normal releases because of the government shutdown, so there could be delayed reaction to numbers that should have been known earlier.

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