Bulls Get Lift From China's Yuan Announcement

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- It's the beginning of summer but it's no time to get lazy. Investors have too much to concern themselves with before they pack their bags and head to the beach.

Over the weekend, investors learned China plans to allow the yuan to rise after announcing the end of the currency's peg to the dollar. It's likely the yuan will appreciate only modestly, but the move is seen by many, including President Obama, as helping to protect the recovery in world economies.

And later this week, traders will gauge statements from the Federal Reserve following the central bank's likely decision to keep interest rates at historic lows.

And though they won't be out for at least two more weeks, corporate earnings will be closely scrutinized by Wall Street for clues as to whether a recovery is indeed taking hold. A preview of what's to come once the second quarter ends can be had this week from the likes of Adobe Systems ( ADBE), Nike ( NKE) and Lennar ( LEN).

That's quite a bit to be mindful of, but there is optimism that stocks will rise as a new trading week begins.

As of 5 a.m. EDT Monday, participants who were bullish in TheStreet's Bull vs. Bear poll tallied 50.6%, or 293 of the 579 votes cast. Bears scored 214 votes, or 40%, while survey-takers who were neutral came in at 72 votes, or 12.4% of the total.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended last week with a gain of 2.4% Nasdaq rose 3% and the S&P 500 gained 2.4%.

Premarket futures suggest stocks will continue rising when the U.S. markets open Monday.

In Asia, stocks rose after China ended the yuan's two-year peg to the dollar. The Nikkei in Tokyo gained 2.4% and China's Shanghai Composite surged 2.9%. European stocks also were gaining.

Precious metals, as has been the case in recent polls, was seen by poll participants as the sector most likely to rise this week. Survey-takers viewed homebuilding as the sector most likely to decline.

In corporate news, specialty drugmakers Biovail ( BVF) and Valeant ( VRX) agreed to merge.

> > Bull or Bear? Vote in Our Poll

The poll closes at 9:15 a.m.

Here's a wrap-up of our other polls:

The metaphorical buck stopped in Washington this week in its ongoing search for "ass to kick" as a result of the BP ( BP) oil spill. The buck didn't stop in Washington to settle on the desk of President Obama -- though Obama has repeatedly said he has a place carved out on his Oval Office desk for the BP buck. Rather, oil-spill villain BP and the federal government decided to spend some quality time together for a few days, making the buck's search for a place to stop easy.

First we had the Oval Office speech by President Obama on Tuesday night, followed by the closed-door meeting between the Obama administration and BP top brass on Wednesday leading to some hefty financial concessions from BP, and finally, the oil-spill action wrapped with the absurd comedy of BP CEO Tony Hayward testifying on Capitol Hill.

It's pretty obvious when the biggest moments of intensity in seven hours of congressional testimony are a protester covered in oil being wrestled to the ground by Capitol Hill security and Rep. Joe Barton making the now infamous "shakedown" comment, that any public hope for substance in Hayward's comments about the substance spilling into the Gulf of Mexico -- close to 840,000 gallons alone during the hours of Hayward's evasions -- was wishful thinking.


President Obama's big win was the Wednesday meeting with BP. By most accounts, the White House had no legal trump card to force BP to suspend its dividend, and a questionable legal strategy to force BP to set up an escrow account for oil spill damage claims. Yet BP's chairman walked onto the White House lawn with a major mea culpa -- followed by the mea culpa of his misuse of the term "small people" -- and with BP shareholders $8 billion poorer, saying farewell to their dividend checks. It may have taken Obama pointing to Environmental Protection Agency director Lisa Jackson with her finger on a button that said "press to de-bar BP" for the White House to gain its big victory. We'll never know.

In light of all this, we asked readers of TheStreet at the beginning of last week, as Sir BP made his way to Washington, Where does the buck stop for you in the BP oil spill?

The majority opinion was that the buck should split itself in two in an unscientific version of shame-induced societal fission and take a place on the desks of both BP and the federal government. It wasn't 100% of survey takers who agreed with this sane position, but it was 38% of voters who said so, and they were the largest group to express their opinion in the BP oil spill buck poll.

>>Click here for full results and analysis of our BP poll

Written by Joseph Woelfel in New York.