Stocks Set to End Week on a Positive Note

Author:
Publish date:

After its rather dismal start, Wall Street looks like it's setting up to end the week on a positive note.

"I say what we're getting here is a little recognition of a short-term oversold condition," said Todd Clark, head of listed trading at

Charles Schwab

. "I think we can recover, but I don't think it's going to be anything to write home about." Clark notes that the stock market has run into trouble lately whenever the June

S&P 500

futures contract has run up above 1110. "I think we're going to see them recover into that zone and then peter out again," he said.

Indeed, despite the market's good tone this morning, there are worries out there. Yesterday's April fund flow data from the

Investment Company Institute, showing that $26.55 billion moved into stock funds, has given Wall Street something to crow about, but the weekly flow figures from

AMG, showing that $811 million came out of equity funds for the week ended May 27, are unsettling. It's the second week of bearish data from AMG -- last week's showed only $471 million going into equity funds. More of that, and it will start to smell like a trend. For a stock market that has been so liquidity-driven, that would cause some gnashing of teeth.

At 9 a.m. EDT, the S&P 500 futures were up 4.10, indicating a positive open. The 30-year Treasury bond was up 9/32 to 104 12/32, dropping the yield to 5.81%.

Tokyo stocks slipped, with jitters about the yen continuing to plague the market. With the dollar briefly trading above 139 yen -- where it hasn't been since Chiyonofuji was still tearing up the sumo ring -- traders worry that more investors are going to pull their money from the country. The

Nikkei

dropped 125.77 to close at 15,670.78.

Hong Kong stocks managed to post gains, though that is small consolation for a market that has contracted 6.5% this week. Volume was thin, with many investors staying out of the game ahead of the announcement of first-quarter

gross domestic product

, which came after the close. As expected, Hong Kong's GDP, which fell 2%, showed that the island has indeed slipped into recession. A little less than a year ago, during the parades and fireworks that led up to the handover of the territory to China, that hardly seemed likely.

The

Hang Seng

climbed 56.62 to 8934.56.

German stocks climbed, helped by a rise in the dollar and speculation in the chemical sector. The

Dax

climbed 87.82 to close at 5569.08.

Stocks in London are moving higher, albeit on thin volume, helped by gains in Europe and expectations of a positive open in New York. The

FTSE

was up 38.8 at 5901.10.

BankBoston

(BKB)

announced that it is buying the investment banking operations of

Robertson Stephens

from

BankAmerica

(BAC) - Get Report

in a cash and stock deal valued at $800 million.

TSC's

Herb Greenberg broke the news of the acquisition

last week.

Centocor

(CNTO)

was getting bid up in preopening trade on the back of the unanimous support it got

yesterday from the

Food and Drug Administration's Gastrointestinal Drugs Advisory Committee

for its Crohn's disease drug,

Avakine

. Centocor was up 2 7/8 to 41 3/8.

ICOS

(ICOS)

is getting a nice

Business Week

pop this morning. As reported

last night,

Medical Technology Stock Letter

editor Jim McCamant told

Business Week

writer Gene Marcial that ICOS' impotence pill "will be a potentially better product than Pfizer's Viagra, because it has fewer side effects.'' ICOS is up 6 7/8 at 23 in preopening trade.

Marcial, whose record on predicting takeouts is

less than admirable, was also busy touting

National Record Mart

(NRMI)

, for which he said there's "talk of a buyout."