Stock Market Today - China Factory Activity at One Year Low, Optimism for Greece Agreement

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Asian stocks closed mixed, with Shanghai higher, while European markets were in the green on Monday morning. London Stock Exchange is closed, as Monday is a bank holiday in the U.K.

Stock index futures indicate a higher open for Wall Street.

We're already a few weeks into earnings season, but the earnings reports will continue to flow this week, keeping investors busy.

First of all, though, what would a Monday morning be worth if we had no Chinese economic data from over the weekend to report on? The HSBC final Purchasing Managers' Index came in at 48.9, less than the preliminary reading of 49.2, and down from March's 49.6 reading, all of which signal negative growth (with 50 being the point of delineation).

Bulls point to China's central banks recent commitment to upping its financial stimulus as a reason to look at the glass as half full, because they believe the central bank will be forced to take additional accommodative action.

In fact, investors hope that China's stimulus will begin to work like that in the eurozone, as its final April PMI came in at 52, which indicated modest growth.

The best news of all this weekend came out of Greece, on which both sides are now optimistic that an agreement could come soon. That's great news, as Greece's next debt repayment to the International Monetary Fund is due on May 12.

Notable earnings today include: Comcast (CMCSA), Cognizant Technology (CTSH), Loews (L), Diamond Offshore (DO), Henry Schein (HSIC), Sysco (SYY), Tyson Foods (TSN), Growth Seeker's Ares Capital (ARCC), Ingram Micro (IM), Cognex(CGNX), and Avis Budget (CAR).

Today's economic calendar includes the April New York ISM at 9:45 a.m., and at 10 a.m. we get the March Factory Orders report, with consensus calling for 2.0%.

Happy trading!

  • Chinese factory activity had the biggest drop in a year, revised PMI data show. The HSBC/Markit Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell to 48.9 in April, the lowest level since April 2014, from 49.6 in March. Anything below 50 signals a contraction. A state think tank says the Chinese economy's growth is expected to slow to 6.8% in the second quarter.
  • Greece intends to meet debt payments this month and reach a deal with its international lenders to unlock remaining bailout aid, the country's labor minister said. But he added that the International Monetary Fund insists on tough labor reforms. "They are asking us to not touch anything (from the austerity measures) that have ruined Greek people's lives in the last five years," Greek Labor Minister Panos Skourletis told a Greek TV station.
  • General Motors (GM) sees India becoming the world's third-largest market, with projected sales of eight million vehicles by 2025, and it aims to grab at least 5% market share in India over the next 10 years, according to a report by Reuters.
  • Ford (F) has quietly abandoned a plan to develop car seats that can detect heart attacks, because of the advances of wearable technology, the FT writes.
  • Oil prices reversed earlier losses on Monday, on hopes that weak Chinese data mean more stimulus will come from the People's Bank of China (PBOC) and the Chinese government.

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