U.S. and Canadian stock futures suggest a flat start when markets open this morning. So far, there isn't a lot of indication that Friday's rally that brought the S&P 500 above 1,600 and the Dow temporarily above 15,000 will extend into today - but investors also appear reluctant to take profits given that bets on a market correction so far this year haven't been very rewarding.
There's little in the way of U.S. economic data today, and with 80 per cent of S&P 500 corporate earnings already released, wild swings in the market may have to wait for another day. London's stock market is also closed for a holiday today, which is helping to keep trading volumes throughout Europe unusually quiet. Commodities are mixed.
Some sectors within the stock market could be better positioned for gains going forward than others. The market's rally of 2013, that has seen the S&P 500 rise an impressive 13 per cent, has largely been driven by defensive sectors such as utilities and health care. That has left cyclical stocks, which include commodity producers, the most undervalued relative to defensives than at any time during the past 15 years, Goldman Sachs pointed out in a research note on Friday. That suggests money could start flowing more into growth stocks shortly and into the resource sector that dominates the TSX. Indeed, there have been some early signs in recent days that cyclicals are starting to lead defensive stocks again.
Here's a look at what else is happening this morning and what's to come.
U.S. futures: S&P Toronto 60 Unchanged; S&P 500 -0.01 per cent; Dow Unchanged; Nasdaq +0.15 per cent
Hong Kong's Hang Seng +0.99 per cent
Shanghai composite index +1.16 per cent
Japan's Nikkei Closed for holiday
London's FTSE 100 Closed for a holiday
Germany's DAX -0.02 per cent
France's CAC 40 -0.20 per cent
Italy's FTSE MIB -0.51 per cent
WTI crude oil (Nymex Jun) -0.38 per cent at $95.25 (U.S.) a barrel
Gold (Comex Jun) +0.47 per cent at $1,470.80 (U.S.) an ounce
Silver (Comex July) +0.23 per cent at $24.07 an ounce.
Copper (Comex July) -0.74 per cent at $3.29 (U.S.) a pound
Canadian dollar up 0.0023, or 0.23 per cent, at $0.9916 (U.S.)
ECONOMIC INDICATORS TO WATCH:
Canada building permits jumped 8.6 per cent in March, much faster than economists' forecasts calling for a 1 per cent rise.
STOCKS TO WATCH:
Shares in Berkshire Hathaway Inc. are up 2 per cent in the premarket after the company's annual shareholders meeting this weekend. Warren Buffett was also interviewed on CNBC this morning, commenting that stocks will go "far higher" in the long run.
Onex Corp. says it will pay $950-million (U.S.) in cash to acquire business-to-business trade show operator Nielsen Expositions.
Panasonic Corp. has signed a multi-year broad licence agreement for Wi-Lan Inc.'s digital TV and display patent portfolio. Terms were not disclosed.
Earnings today include: Anadarko Petroleum Corp.; Catalyst Paper Corp.; Tyson Foods Inc.
THIS MORNING'S TOP INVESTING READS ON THE WEB:
Apple ranks no. 1 in Barron's annual survey that honours stellar operating performance.
Five ways to prudently sell in May and go away
Why stock buybacks can help boost your portfolio for years to come.
Trading in a closed-end fund suggests gold may not have bottomed yet.
The premarket report is constantly updated to reflect the latest news developments and market moves. For instant headlines on breaking economic and corporate news in the premarket, follow Darcy Keith on Twitter at @eyeonequities.