U.S. stock futures up with Greek austerity
NEW YORK (MarketWatch)--U.S. stock-index futures climbed Monday as Greece's pro-austerity party topped polls ahead of June elections, raising hopes the country can adopt measures needed to stay in the euro.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJM2) gained 41 points, or 0.3%, to 12,470.
Standard & Poor's 500 Index futures (SPM2) expiring in June rose 6.6 points, or 0.5%, to 1,321.60.
Nasdaq-100 futures (NDM2) added 16.25 points, or 0.6%, to 2,540.25.
Regular U.S. stock-market trade was closed Monday for the Memorial Day holiday.
In Greece, New Democracy, which backs the austerity measures mandated by the European Union, came in first in an array of public opinion polls published Monday ahead of the June 17 general election.
"The major development over the weekend that has encouraged some reduction of risk averseness is several polls in Greece that showed the New Democracy pulling ahead of Syriza," noted Marc Chandler, global head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman, in a Monday note.
Spain's Bankia SA (BKT) sank in Monday's trade as European investors reacted to word the troubled lender would ask for a government rescue of €19 billion (around $24 billion).
Bankia shares were suspended Friday before the release of the news that a larger-than-anticipated rescue would be needed for the lender.
The figure exceeded some estimates calling for a recapitalization of around €15 billion. The bank, formed of a merger of several savings banks, is a casualty of the collapse of Spain's housing market that triggered a recession and ignited another leg of the sovereign-debt crisis. Read full story.
"We are hostage again to what goes on in Europe," said Michael Gayed, chief investment strategist at Pension Partners LLC.
On Friday, the S&P 500 (SPX) advanced 1.7% in its first weekly gain since April.
U.S. economic data released last week were mostly upbeat, showing increases in sales of new and existing homes, an unexpected rise in durable-goods orders and a climb in the consumer sentiment index to its highest level since October 2007. Read more on consumer sentiment.
"The biggest issue for markets in the very near-term is addressing whether the fear being expressed in the bond markets will filter through to equities with a lag," said Gayed. "While markets have bounced off of deeply oversold levels, the problem is that there is little confirmation in other areas of the investible universe." Read about Friday's bond market.
"The euro seems to be unable to catch a bid, emerging markets continue to weaken, 30-year Treasurys remain at panic levels, and sectors which are not cyclically sensitive continue to outperform," he said.
On Tuesday, analysts polled by MarketWatch expect to see a rise in May consumer confidence and a pickup in May manufacturing data due Friday. The analysts also expect Thursday's first-quarter gross domestic product revision to show a rise of 1.9%, down from a previous reading of 2.2% growth.
Thursday will also see the release of same-store sales for May. While Mother's Day helped sales, chilly weather didn't, and several retailers have toned down their own expectations, analysts said.
But nonfarm payrolls and unemployment data Friday should be the most critical U.S. report in this holiday-shortened week. Analysts expect nonfarm payrolls for May to show a rise to 170,000 from 115,000 in April, while unemployment is likely to remain at 8.1%. See the U.S. economic calendar.
On Friday, car makers will roll out their May sales numbers. TrueCar.com predicts a 32% jump in overall year-over-year sales, with all major auto makers expected to post double-digit gains. The industry research company also expects new car sales to mark the best May since 2007.
On the Federal Reserve's docket, Wednesday will see speeches from Eric Rosengren, president of the Boston Fed, as well as speeches from Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher and New York Fed President William Dudley. Thursday's speech from Sandra Pianalto, Cleveland Fed president, will focus on monetary policy and the economic outlook. Read about Dudley's speech this past week.
The technology sector will also be in the spotlight as some of the market's biggest names will be gathering at the D10 All Things Digital conference Tuesday to Thursday.
All Things Digital speakers include
Ed Catmull, president of