NEW YORK (
) -- It might be cynical to call
a fool's rally but even if the so-called special purpose vehicle for Europe that's been mentioned does surface, it's debatable if that's really enough to put the region on firm footing.
After last week's decimation in the major U.S. equity indices, a bounce off oversold near-term conditions was expected, and short-covering and window-dressing ahead of the quarter's end were also likely factors in the surge.
So while the 2%-plus bounce to start the week is nice, investors will be looking for concrete progress on Greece before pushing stocks much higher. Right now the headlines are little more than a glimmer of hope.
A clear sign could show up on Tuesday as the Greek parliament is
set to vote on a property tax resolution
that's required for the struggling country to receive its next installment of funds. Passage is by no means a sure thing, and the political ramifications for Greece could be wide-ranging if it fails as this would indicate a rift in the ruling Socialist party that bodes poorly for similar votes in the coming weeks.
One anomaly of Monday's rally was the lack of participation by
, which was dogged by an analyst report that said
it's cut orders to suppliers of parts for its iPad tablets
. The stock dipped as low as $391.30 -- a decline of nearly 3% -- before climbing back to close down just 0.3% at $403.17.
The company didn't comment on the news, and other analysts actually had positive things to say on Monday, including Canaccord Genuity, which reiterated a buy rating on the stock with a 12-month price target of $545, saying recent channel checks had found Apple stores in Asia were full of customers. The firm's description of the opening of a new location in Shanghai -- Apple's largest store in Asia -- was fairly breathless.
"The impressive four-story store is located at the head of the very popular Nanjing shopping district in Shanghai, and the large space was able to handle the thousands of people shopping for Apple products," Canaccord said. "Apple's popularity in China continues to grow, and we anticipate continued strong sales for Apple as it grows its APAC region market share." Expect a few of Apple's many bulls to weigh in tomorrow on the iPad issue.
Meanwhile, as is well established by now, there's really no reason to think the housing market is going to get better anytime soon, so Tuesday's data on that front won't move the needle. The Case-Shiller 20-city home index for July is due at 9 a.m. ET, and the consensus expectation is for a decline of 4.5%.
The Conference Board's read on consumer confidence for September, however, should get more attention. Economists are looking for a slight bump up to 46.6 from August's dismal 44.5 but
is less optimistic at 45.0. September started poorly for stocks and Hurricane Irene is going to be a factor as well, so the chances of a significant upside surprise are slim.
It's warning season right now but there are still some quarterly reports trickling in from companies with less traditional fiscal calendars.
is due to deliver its fiscal fourth-quarter results before Tuesday's opening bell, and the average estimate of analysts polled by
is for earnings of 55 cents a share for the three months ended in August.
The stock saw a 3%-plus gain ahead of the report, closing at $36.03, but it's still down more than 10% so far in 2011. The Deerfield, Ill.-based drug store operator has been a mixed bag for a while now, missing the consensus view in three of its last six quarters.
On Sept. 6, the company reported same-store sales rose 5.6% in September, and said total sales for the fourth quarter were $17.94 billion, which is slightly ahead of the average analysts' estimate. Walgreen also said it saw no impact from Hurricane Irene, so an upside surprise may be in the offing.
Wall Street is leaning positive on the stock with 16 of the 26 analysts covering the shares at strong buy (7) or buy (9), according to
, and the median 12-month price target sitting at $45.50.
The other notable reports include
Finally, a big mover in after-hours action was
TICKER TYPE="EQUITY" SYMBOL="KEYW"/>, which
Written by Michael Baron in New York.
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