It's been a mixed week for stocks, and the major indexes ended just about where they began on Thursday. The S&P 500 closed at a new record high, but it gained less than a point, finishing just below 1,988. The Dow edged down less than three points, while the Nasdaq composite dropped a point and a half. That despite more than 3 billion shares being traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Futures point to a cautious opening.
- International stock markets are mixed today with European exchanges down in early trading while Asian markets gained on falling U.S. unemployment claims. Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell to just above $102 a barrel. The dollar gained against the yen and inched up against the euro.
- Japan's inflation rate eased slightly in June as a sales tax high stunted demand. The government reports the core consumer price index, which does not include prices for fresh foods, rose 3.3 percent in June, down from the 3.4 percent in May. Meanwhile, in Germany, business confidence is down for a third month in a row amid ongoing concerns about the economic impact of the crises in Ukraine and Iraq. The Ifo Institute survey fell to 108 points in July from 109.7 points in June. Economists had expected a slight rise.
- There's just one government report on today's schedule of economic and corporate earnings reports. The Commerce Department releases durable goods for June this morning. Orders for durable goods fell 1 percent in May, but that was mostly the result of a sharp drop in demand for military equipment. Excluding defense-related goods, orders actually rose.
- A leading advisory firm is telling Sprint shareholders to protest CEO Dan Hesse's $49 million 2013 pay. Institutional Shareholder Services the package is excessive and not tied to performance. Hesse got a special $18.7 million "retention" award in connection with Softbank Corp. of Japan buying 70 percent of Sprint last year. The ISS report says that helped put his pay package above three times the median pay for a CEO of a comparable company.