US stock futures are higher Thursday morning, rebounding from Wednesday’s pocket of weakness. The market has been on a relentless charge in 2012, up 8% so far, so yesterday’s pocket of selling was not surprising or alarming for bulls. Some healthy digestion would be a positive for many bulls, who would prefer to buy back into size at slightly lower prices. Jobless claims this morning had little effect after remaining unchanged at 351,000.
Traders will continue to watch oil prices, which rose overnight. Tensions are rising in Iran, where the government is resisting closer inspections from the international community. The US and others are taking a harder line, and potential confrontations seems to grow more likely by the day.
On a stock specific front, Vivus (VVUS) more than doubled overnight after the FDA approved its weight-loss drug Qnexa. The stock had been under pressure in the past few days as investors anticipated a rejection of the drug. Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) is down 1.5% after the company reported a 44% drop in profit and missed expectations. Sears (SHLD) is up more than 10% despite swinging to a fourth-quarter loss.
By Marc Sperling
Disclosures: Marc Sperling is long VXX, REGN, SLV, IBM, MCP, AGQ, GSVC, WYNN, GLD, BA, LGF, FCEL, RAX,DNDN, FIO, GMCR, ZNGA, GRPN. Short NFLX, QQQ.