European markets are called to open higher this morning.
Asian stocks rose, with the regional benchmark index paring its loss for the month, on speculation Greece may be allowed to roll over some of its bonds, easing concern the nation’s sovereign debt crisis will spread across Europe, one of Asia’s biggest export markets.
Esprit Holdings Ltd., the Hong Kong clothier that gets most of its revenue from Europe, rose 2 percent in Hong Kong. LG Electronics Inc., the world’s No. 3 mobile phone maker by sales, climbed 0.5 percent in Seoul after a survey by International Data Corp. showed U.S. companies will increase spending on information technology this year. J. Front Retailing Co. led a rally in Japanese department store operators after a report showed the nation’s retail sales fell at a slower pace than economists estimated in May.
“Investors are becoming more optimistic,” said Fumiyuki Nakanishi, a strategist at Tokyo-based SMBC Friend Securities “There’s a sense that Europe is cooperating to avoid a worst case scenario.”
Stocks started off the week with solid gains, as strength in the technology sector boosted all three major indexes.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 108 points, or 0.9%, with 26 of its 30 components in the black. Microsoft led the broader index, gaining 3.7%, after the company announced a licensing deal with military contractor General Dynamics.
Overall, the S&P 500 added 11 points, or 0.9%; and the tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 35 points, or 1.3%.
Adding to the tech sector’ strength, Amazon shares rose 4.5% after Morgan Stanley issued a bullish report on the company and added the tech giant to its “Best Ideas” list.
The report stated that Amazon’ opportunities for global expansion are under-estimated by investors.
Meanwhile, jitters about Greece’ debt crisis still hang in the air, but could be overshadowed temporarily by optimism about the upcoming earnings season.
Stocks don’t need (or want) more stimulus
“The market is looking queasy, but that is not unusual as June comes to an end,” said Don Hays, chief investment officer for Hays Advisory Group. “Just keep this in mind — today, the stock market is giving you the best value of any time in the last 30 years, and the earnings of corporate America are up to records and headed higher.”
Expect markets to be volatile this week, said Rich Ilczyszyn, market strategist with futures broker Lind-Waldock.
“This is the last week of the month and we have a big holiday this weekend. I’m actually looking for the big boys — the big traders — to lighten their loads and reduce some risk probably by Wednesday,” he said.
It has been a difficult and choppy three months for Wall Street. The Dow has fallen 3% since March 3, while the broader market S&P 500 index is down 4.3%.
Events this week
Tuesday – Investors will get the S&P Case-Shiller home price index for April at 9 a.m. ET on Tuesday, which is considered one of the official gauges on the housing market. The index is forecasted to fall 3.9% versus the 3.6% it dropped in March, according to Briefing.com.
The Conference Board’ consumer confidence survey is also out Tuesday at 10 a.m. ET. Economists are looking for consumer confidence to edge lower to a reading of 60.3 compared with the reading of 60.8 reported for May.
Wednesday — The National Association of Realtors will report its May pending home sales data at 10 a.m. ET. Economists forecast pending home sales rose 2%in May after April’ big 11.6% decline.
Investors will get quarterly results from , General Mills, KB Home and Monsanto.
Thursday — The Labor Department will issue its weekly jobless claims data at 8:30 a.m. ET, with economists looking for weekly claims to fall to 42,000.
Also out on Thursday is the Chicago purchasing managers’ index at 9:45 a.m. ET, which is expected to slip to 53.5.
Apollo Group, the parent company of the University of Phoenix, reports after the closing bell on Thursday. Other names reporting include Constellation Brand (STZ) and dining chain owner Darden Restaurants .
Friday — The ISM’ manufacturing index comes out at 10 a.m. ET, with economists looking for a reading of 51.1 versus May’ reading of 53.5..
Investors will also get May construction spending figures from the Commerce Department as well as the final read on University of Michigan’ May consumer sentiment survey.
The major auto makers such as General Motors, Toyota, and Ford are scheduled to report their May sales figures starting at around 11 a.m. ET.