NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- European stocks are higher, bonds have stopped their slide, the dollar is higher and oil continues to march northward.
The European stimulus is working. Don't take my word for it; the proof is in the pudding! Recent GDP reports show that for the first time in almost five years, the four largest eurozone economies -- Germany, France, Italy and Spain -- all posted growth. France posted its strongest growth in two years, up 0.6% in the first quarter and ahead of consensus at 0.4%, while Germany slowed below expectations, posting 0.3% economic growth, below 0.7% last quarter. Italy posted 0.3% growth, just nudging ahead of consensus.
But the news from overseas was uneven. China's economic reports show continued signs of sluggishness, including an industrial output reading of 5.9% for April, below consensus at 6% and poor retail sales data. The flip side to the fatigued growth reports are that investors believe this will lead the People's Bank of China to continue with its financial stimulus efforts and additional lending rate cuts to fuel economic demand.
Today's earnings calls of interest include Macy's (M), former Growth Seeker holding EZchip Semiconductor (EZCH), Ralph Lauren (RL), Jack in the Box (JACK), Shake Shack (SHAK), International Game Technology (IGT), Cisco Systems (CSCO) and J.C. Penney (JCP).
On today's domestic economic calendar, we had the MBA Mortgage Applications at 7 a.m. We expect the retail sales advance for April at 8:30 a.m., with 0.3% expected, and at 8:30 a.m. we will get the April retail sales ex-auto report (0.5% expected), the April retail sales ex-auto and gas report (0.4% expected), as well as the April import price index (0.3% expected).
At 10 a.m. we get the March business inventories report with consensus at 0.2% and at 10:30 a.m. the DOE energy inventories will be released.
- China's factory output rose a less-than-expected 5.9% in April from the same period last year but Asian stocks rose in expectation of even more stimulus from the central bank. Investment and retail sales also came below expectations.
- German GDP growth missed forecasts in the first quarter, rising by just 0.3%, but the French economy expanded at twice the pace of Germany's, by 0.6%, beating expectations.
- Moody's Investors Service pushed Chicago's credit rating into the "junk" category, citing limited options for easing the city's growing unfunded pension liability.
- Toyota (TM) and Nissan (NSANY) recalled another six million vehicles worldwide because of a fault in the Takata airbags.
- Facebook (FB) tied up with nine news publishers to launch "Instant Articles," a feature which will let them publish articles directly to the social network's mobile news feeds and will let stories load more than 10 times faster than standard mobile web articles.