Stock Market Today - Investors Digesting Economic Data

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stocks opened mixed overseas this morning as investors and traders digested Friday's lackluster U.S. economic reports, but shares managed to stage a turnaround and were recently trading higher. There's a growing consensus that a Fed interest-rate hike has been pushed out until December -- from current thinking of September, which had been pushed back from June -- due to the latest economic reports' sluggishness.

The tenor of U.S. economic data and recent consumer-spending trends are even more in focus this week as some major retail names report earnings. Due out are numbers from Home Depot (HD), Lowe's (LOW), Wal-Mart (WMT), Target (TGT), Urban Outfitters (URBN), Best Buy (BBY), Gap (GPS), Dollar Tree (DLTR) and Foot Locker (FL).

Elsewhere in markets, oil is trading higher and the dollar is gaining ground. The turmoil in Greece also continues this morning, with Greek bond yields jumping higher as investors rid themselves of the debt. There's growing concern that Greece will be unable to meet a debt payment due on June 5 to the International Monetary Fund.

In other news, Google (GOOGL) announced that it would be rolling out a "Buy Now" button on ads located above users' search results. That's a bad development for Amazon(AMZN) -- which is held in the Growth Seeker portfolio -- but we don't believe the move will materially impact the online-retailing giant. We also have reservations about how Google's initiative will impact the perceived purity of GOOGL users' search results.

Earnings reports of note today include Urban Outfitters (URBN), Agilent Technologies(A), Take-Two Interactive (TTWO) and Photronics (PLAB).

On today's economic calendar, we have the May NAHB Housing Market Index due out at 10 a.m. ET with consensus at 57.

Happy trading!

  • Chinese home prices fell year-on-year in April but were flat month-on-month, fueling hopes that house prices may have bottomed. Average new home prices in China's 70 major cities dropped 6.1% last month from a year ago, the same rate of decline as in March, according to Reuters calculations based on official data published on Monday. But nationwide prices steadied from March, further narrowing from a 0.1% fall in the previous month.
  • Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said he was confident a deal between Greece and its euro zone creditors would be reached in the coming days. The FT reports that a letter from Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to IMF head Christine Lagarde underscored how close to default Greece was before managing to pay a tranche of its IMF debt using emergency cash it had with the Fund.
  • Yves Mersch, a member of the ECB's Executive Board who was skeptic of quantitative easing policies, said in the text of a speech that the ECB must keep up asset purchases until inflation returns close to its 2% target.
  • Miner Rio Tinto (RIO) is trying again to sell its aluminum assets, in a potentially $1 billion deal, the FT reports. The Anglo-Australian miner has hired Credit Suisse to find a buyer for its aluminum smelters in Australia and New Zealand, the paper says.
  • Alibaba (BABA) was sued by the owner of several luxury brands challenging the way it deals with counterfeiting, the Wall Street Journal reports. The lawsuit, filed Friday in federal court in Manhattan by Gucci, Balenciaga, Yves Saint Laurent and other brands owned by Paris-based Kering, indicates that the company is unsatisfied with Alibaba's efforts to address the problem of counterfeiting of its brands.

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