Stock Market Today - Oil Prices Hit 2015 High, Greece pays interest, Microsoft eyes Salesforce

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- European stock markets are higher and U.S. stock index futures are signaling a modestly higher open after yesterday's jitters.

And this morning, we have seen a continuation of the global bond sell off pushing yields higher. The crude price also climbed overnight to its highest price in 2015 and heading towards $62 a barrel, as the commodity continued on its snap-back.

Greece made the markets nervous yesterday when officials expressed pessimism on the state of the negotiations between it and the International Monetary Fund and the European Union. However, the country managed to pay a 200 million euro ($224 million) interest payment to the IMF that was due today, with another 750 million euro payment due on May 12.

The eurozone showed the ECB's accommodative policies may be helping as the final April PMI came in at 53.9, above the key 50 level which is the line of demarcation between growth and contraction. On the eve of elections in the U.K., its services PMI was released and showed signs of economic strengthening as it hit 59.5 in April, an eight-month high, which should help Prime Minister David Cameron in his re-election attempt.

In M&A rumorville, Salesforce (CRM) popped yesterday after Bloomberg reported that Microsoft (MSFT) was considering making a bid for the company which has been rumored to be in play after being approached by an interested party and hiring investment banks to entertain offers to see what the market may pay for it. Also, there are reports this morning that Western Union (WU) is kicking the tires at MoneyGram (MGI).

Some notable earnings reports today include: Voya Financial (VOYA), Wendy's (WEN), Chesapeake Energy (CHK), Nu Skin (NUS), Clean Harbors (CLH), SodaStream (SODA), Hain Celestial (HAIN), 3D Systems (DDD), Rowan (RDC), Keurig Green Mountain (GMCR), Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA), TripAdvisor (TRIP), Extreme Networks (EXTR), Whole Foods Market (WFM), Tesla Motors (TSLA), and SandRidge Energy (SD).

On today's earnings calendar we had the MBA Mortgage Applications at 7 a.m., the ADP Employment Change at 8:15 a.m. with consensus at 200,000, and the DOE Energy Inventories report at 10:30 a.m.

Happy trading!

  • Oil prices hit a new 2015 high on Wednesday morning, on worries about disruptions of crude oil from Libya and a weaker dollar. International Brent crude jumped by $0.97 to $68.49 a barrel by 0652 GMT (0152 EST), after hitting a 2015 peak of $68.67.
  • China's services sector grew at its fastest pace this year, services PMI data show. The HSBC/Markit services PMI rose to a four-month high of 52.9 in April from 52.3 in March. But final prices of services hit a 15-month low in April as some firms were forced to cut prices to lift sales.
  • Two big French banks, Societe Generale (SCGLY) and Credit Agricole (CRARY), reported upbeat results in the first quarter, signaling a continuation of the economic recovery in the eurozone.
  • Two traders in the United Arab Emirates were charged with "spoofing" the New York gold and silver markets, the FT reports. Both were suspended from CME after a period of trading that ended last week.
  • Officials from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said they did not push for debt forgiveness for Greece from eurozone creditors but rather pointed out that more financing would be needed if the country does not meet its bailout conditions, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

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