Stocks look to find solid footing this morning after tumbling yet again yesterday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) fell 33 points, or 0.26%, to 12,598, reflecting continued investor angst around the collateral damage a Greek exit from the eurozone would cause. The S&P 500 followed suit, falling 0.44% to 1,324, despite an early hours rally on encouraging April homebuilder and industrial production data, both ahead of expectations and suggesting improving conditions.
They don't call economics "the dismal science" for nothing, and luckily it's a pretty boring day on the economic data front. The international economic calendar is light, so outside of ongoing Greece-induced headlines, don't expect noise much from overseas. Domestically, weekly initial jobless claims released at 8:30 a.m. ET were expected to edge lower, to 365,000 from last week's 367,000 reading. Also on the docket at 10:00 a.m. are the Conference Board's Leading Indicator index and the Philly Fed Survey, which will shed some additional light on recent manufacturing trends.
In early trading, observers will key in on Wal-Mart (NYS: WMT) numbers out this morning, as the world's largest retailer provides one of the best proxies there is for the state of the retail industry and consumer spending both domestically and abroad. Wally World looks to outpace competitor Target, which reported results after yesterday's close that were largely in line with analyst expectations.
Away from the Dow, cloud-computing pioneer salesforce.com (NYS: CRM) releases earnings after the close. Analysts are expecting 35% year-over-year revenue growth and 21% earnings growth to $0.34 per share. Shares have fallen more than 10% in the past week following Cisco Systems' (NAS: CSCO) cruddy outlook for enterprise IT spending. There may be some competitive factors that Cisco is sweeping under the rug with the "macro-weakness" brush, so I'll be paying attention to any divergences in commentary on the call.
Also releasing earnings tomorrow is semiconductor equipment supplier Applied Materials (NAS: AMAT) . Taiwan Semiconductor, one of its largest customers, recently upped its capital-spending expectations, so I'm looking to see how that's reflected in Applied's results and forecast for the rest of the year.
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