Corporate America is starting the week off with a lot of pressure as Wall Street is still looking to earnings to propel it higher. Stock futures are pointing up a bit, with M&A and a $6 billion stock buyback by Merrill Lynch lending some support.
Economic data is putting butterflies in the market's stomach, though. U.S. personal consumption expenditure data - the Fed's preferred inflation measure - is due shortly. Also on tap are the New York National Association of Purchasing Management and Chicago Purchasing Managers indexes.
Analysts say soft numbers this week could push the euro up to record highs against the dollar, which for now has gained back some ground against the European currency as investors book profits from it. U.S. Treasuries are firmer.
Oil prices have slipped a bit, but London Brent crude is still above $68 a barrel as last week's al Qaeda arrests in Saudi Arabia and continued tensions over Iran's nuclear program keep that market on edge.
Verizon reported higher earnings from continuing operations, and RadioShack said profit increased sharply. In M&A, The Wall Street Journal says Deutsche Boerse is in advanced talks to buy the New York-based International Securities Exchange for about $2.6 billion.
A judge in the Netherlands is deciding whether ABN AMRO can go ahead with the sale of its U.S. LaSalle unit to Bank of America, a major component of the Dutch company's own takeover by Barclays. Let's hear it for Delta Air Lines, which is emerging from bankruptcy today.
Lisa Von Ahn - Editor