European markets are called to open flat this morning.
Asian stocks advanced for a second day and default risk dropped after Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou won a confidence vote in parliament. The euro weakened from a one-week high against the dollar.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 1 percent as of 3:05 p.m. in Tokyo, extending yesterday’s 1.4 percent rally. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures lost 0.2 percent, while those on the Europe Stoxx 50 Index were little changed. The Markit iTraxx Australia index dropped the most in three months. Europe’s shared currency fell 0.1 percent to $1.4396 after appreciating to $1.4434, while South Korea’s won and Taiwan’s dollar rose. Oil fell 0.6 percent in New York, while corn and wheat advanced.
Stocks posted solid advances on Tuesday, with technology shares leading gains, as investors awaited the confidence vote for Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou later tonight.
A smaller-than-expected decline in existing home sales also helped lift markets.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 110 points, or 0.9%, with 26 of the blue-chip index’ 30 components moving higher.
Aloca, Caterpillar and DuPont led the gains, with shares up more than 3%. Procter & Gamble was the biggest laggard, down roughly 1%.
The S&P 500 added 17 points, or 1.3%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite jumped 58 points, or 2.2%.
The Nasdaq was led higher by Research in Motion, whose shares surged in the last hour of trading on heavy volume, closing up more than 10%. The move comes less than a week after the BlackBerry maker’ shares plunged more than 20% after missing estimates and announcing layoffs.
Whole Foods Market was also a top performer on both the S&P and Nasdaq. The grocer’ shares spiked more than 6% one day after its rating and price target were raised by BMO Capital Markets.
Events this week
Wednesday — The Federal Reserve will conclude its two-day meeting on Wednesday, with the interest rate decision being announced at 12:30 p.m. ET. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’ press conference starts at roughly 2 p.m. ET.
In earnings, shipping company FedEx (FDX, Fortune 500) is scheduled to report its results before the market open, with analysts expecting the company to earn $1.72 a share. Also reporting on Wednesday is home decor retailer Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY, Fortune 500).
0:00 / 3:18 BullHorn: Safe stocks for a wacky market
Thursday – Investors will get weekly jobless claims from the Labor Department at 8:30 a.m. ET followed later by May new home sales from the Census Department at 10 a.m. ET.
Economists are looking for weekly claims to rise to 418,000 from last week’ 414,000 claims, while new home sales are expected to fall to 305,000 annualized units from April’ 323,000 annualized units.
Software giant Oracle (ORCL, Fortune 500) will report its earnings after the market open on Thursday. Analysts expect Oracle to earn 71 cents a share. Investors will also get earnings from ConAgra Foods (CAG, Fortune 500), H&R Block (HRB) and homebuilder Lennar (LEN).
Friday – The Commerce Department will release its third reading on first-quarter gross domestic product at 8:30 a.m. ET, as well as May durable goods orders.
First quarter GDP is expected to remain steady at 1.8% growth according to economists’ estimates. Durable goods orders are expected to rise 1% compared with April’ 3.6% decline in orders.