On Friday, the session was dampened by a downward first-quarter GDP revision and uncertainty ahead of this week's jobs report for May. The S&P 500 fell 0.63%, the Dow declined 0.63% and the Nasdaq slid 0.55%. Despite the day of losses, all the major indices managed to close the month of May higher by 1% or more each.
This morning, the Dow futures rose 20 points, or about 0.11% at 6:51 a.m. in New York, and S&P 500 E-mini futures edged up 0.04%. Nasdaq 100 E-mini futures were higher by 0.08%.
The euro fell 0.59% against the U.S. dollar and the pound was also lower by 0.56%. The dollar was relatively unchanged against the yen.
The greenback advanced last week to a 12-year high against the yen on more speculation that the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates sooner than later.
"The U.S. dollar uptrend has resumed," Matt Weller, an analyst at Gain Capital Holdings Inc.'s Forex.com told Bloomberg. "The strength is backed by conviction that the Fed, based on their recent comments, is going to raise rates one way or another this year," he said.
A stronger dollar, a more robust economy, and a better jobs report figure could be the trifecta that trigger's a Fed decision. So, as a piece of this puzzle, investors will be watching the nonfarm payrolls number closely on Friday, June 5, to gauge the strength of the world's largest economy and judge the likelihood of the central bank increasing borrowing costs for the first time in almost a decade.
Consensus estimates are expecting that the jobs report will probably meet or exceed forecasts. Payrolls should have increased by 225,000 in May after gaining by 223,000 in April, according to the median estimate of 61 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
A positive report will undoubtedly cue more cries over potential Fed action. TheStreet's Jim Cramer recently wrote on Real Money that it's "nuts" for the Fed to consider a rate hike right now considering available data.
"You have weak purchasing-manager numbers on top of a terrible first-quarter GDP. You have sick airline numbers, weaker rail car loadings and trucking estimates coming down. You have companies that sell goods overseas being whacked by a strong dollar," Cramer wrote.
The inevitability of the rate hike and the nonstop jabbering by Fed heads and commentators alike about not-if-but-when seem totally out of sync with the data of this data-dependent Fed, Cramer added.
Abroad, Greece's negotiations with its creditors over its bailout have yet to reach a breakthrough. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is seeking the intervention of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande. The three leaders held a call on Sunday to discuss next steps, with a German government official calling them "constructive," Bloomberg reported.
Back in the U.S., Intel (INTC) is reportedly nearing a deal to buy Altera (ALTR), as the chipmaker prepares to announce the roughly $17 billion acquisition on Monday, sources told the Wall Street Journal.
And General Electric (GE) has launched the bidding process for a $40 billion stake of its U.S. commercial-lending operation, a crucial step in its effort to evade regulation by the Fed, the Journal reported.
On Thursday, J.M. Smucker (SJM) reports, along with Verifone (PAY) and chipmaker Ciena (CIEN). Cramer is a fan of Smucker and Verifone for the long term, but says to be careful with Ciena, which has run up ahead of the quarter.
Separately, another stock to keep on your radar for the long term is Walt Disney (DIS). The entertainment and media machine's stock is up over 17% year to date, changing hands around $110. But Barron's says the Disney universe is still expanding and shares could rocket another 50% over the next three years. Disney's "virtuous circle of investment" stems not from immunity to occasional movie flops, but from an unmatched ability to wring profits from winners, Barron's said.
Finally, on Friday, we'll be watching the all-important nonfarm payroll report. Cramer says that nothing moves the markets more than this statistic. If it's strong the market will sink, but if it's weaker the Fed may be on hold, which would be a boon for stocks, Cramer concluded.