NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- European stocks are lower and domestic equity markets are looking at a relatively tame opening. Crude oil has stopped its slide and the dollar continues to gain against the euro this morning.
The minutes from the last Fed meeting are released today, although it's unlikely that parsing the minutes will yield surprising information. Rather, the markets will look towards Janet Yellen's planned speech this Friday for an update on the Fed's current thinking related to the timing of an interest rate hike.
Given the latest round of weak economic reports, consensus thinking now stands at a September rate hike, with the date rapidly slipping along with the weak reports.
In a non-surprising announcement, Greek's parliamentary speaker said yesterday that the country would not be able to make its June 5 payment to the International Monetary Fund without a deal from its lenders.
Various officials from the eurozone are optimistic that a deal can be reached by the end of this month - beginning of June.
SAP's (SAP) CEO deflated the M&A bubble surrounding Salesforce.com (CRM) -- which reports its first quarter results today, post market close -- when he said that not only would SAP not buy CRM, but that he did not expect any of his large competitors to buy it either, due to the company's valuation.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting this morning that Trifecta Stocks' holding United Technologies (UTX) is in talks with potential acquirers of its Sikorsky Aircraft business, which the company had been looking to dispose of in a spinoff to she holders.
Trifecta Stocks' holding Boeing (BA) is among the rumored companies kicking the tires on the deal along with Airbus and Lockheed Martin (LMT).
Notable earnings reports today include: Lowe's (LOW), Staples (SPLS), American Eagle Outfitters (AEO), Target (TGT), Eaton Vance (EV), NetApp (NTAP), Salesforce.com, and Williams-Sonoma (WSM).
At 10:30 a.m. today we will get the DOE Energy Inventories and at 2 p.m. all eyes will be focused on the release of the FOMC minutes from its April 28-29 meeting.
- Japan's economy expanded faster than expected in the first quarter, growing by 0.6% from the quarter before vs. forecasts of 0.4% growth. On an annualized basis, the economy grew 2.4% in the period against forecasts of 1.5%. Private consumption and capital spending were both up 0.4% in the quarter; however, capital spending was expected to rise by 0.8%.
- French telecommunications group Altice has held talks to buy Time Warner Cable (TWC), according to a report by Reuters, quoting sources. Altice is close to buying smaller peer Suddenlink, moving into the U.S. cable market, according to people familiar with the matter.
- Swiss bank UBS (UBS) paid $545 million to U.S. authorities to settle an investigation into the manipulation of foreign exchange rates. UBS said it had settled with the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Connecticut Department of Banking.
- UBS, together with four other big banks are expected to be hit with a combined bill of more than $5 billion and criminal charges in a settlement with U.S. and British authorities over rigging of currency markets. JPMorgan (JPM), Citigroup (C), Barclays (BCS) and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) are expected to plead guilty to criminal charges with the U.S. Department of Justice related to forex manipulation, people familiar with the matter said, quoted by Reuters.
- A third of people living in London do not have enough money to afford a decent standard of living because housing, transport and childcare cost so much more than in other parts of the U.K., a study quoted by the FT shows.