Stocks are set to rise today as European officials come closer to a agreement on how to deal with Greece and shoppers line up for Black Friday bargains.
Stock futures are dead flat ahead of the opening bell. Dow
(INDEXDJX:.DJI) rose 0.20% to 12,826.00. S&P 500
(INDEXSP:.INX) futures gained 0.18% to 1,390.80, and Nasdaq
(INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures climbed 0.31% to 2,604.00.
Equity markets are open for a half day today. No major US economic announcements will come out today.
After a string of disappointing data points, Germany is showing positive signs. Today, the Munich-based Ifo Institute's survey showed a rise in economic sentiment. The business community was more optimistic about the state of the economy and both current and future business conditions. Business confidence sank to a 2.5 year low of 100.0 in October. Economists expected it to fall further, but the index increased to 101.4. German GDP in the third quarter fell in line with expectations, growing 0.2% over the second quarter.
Europe is still waiting for an agreement over its next seven-year budget as well as an end to the deadlock over delivering the next round of aid to Greece.
Budget negotiations in Brussels fell apart after midnight last night. French President Francois Holland refused to accept proposals from the UK and Germany that the EU reduce subsidies to farmers. German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters that she does not expect progress in this summit, and another one will probably be held.
The troika will meet again on Nov. 26 to try again to iron out a deal for Greece. After the International Monetary Fund and European Commission came to loggerheads earlier this week, reports from Reuters
indicate that progress might be made behind the scenes. The report says that the IMF has conceded that Greece should have until 2022 to bring its debt-to-GDP ratio to 120%, rather than 2020. The European Central Bank might forego about 9 billion euros of profits on Greek bonds. Still, Greece desperately needs the next tranches of aid, especially after money was not disbursed earlier this month, to recapitalize its failed banks.
US shoppers will probably splurge today for the Black Friday deals. Retailers such as Best Buy
(NYSE:BBY) and Target
(NYSE:TGT) started sales in the wee hours of the morning last night, avoiding trampling deaths at opening time. Walmart
(NYSE:WMT) was open yesterday as well, but non-unionized employees are staging demonstrations outside of stores, hoping to raise awareness of employee working conditions.
Major retail chains advanced in pre-market trading. Apple
(NASDAQ:AAPL) products are expected to be a popular Christmas gift this season, and the company's stock has rebounded from its low point of $507.58 on Nov. 16 to $565.00 this morning.
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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