Wall Street was looking at higher open Friday as traders packed -- and some left early -- for the holiday weekend. Gold rose after a report that import scould surge in China, and oil inched up on a weak dollar.
Stocks in Asia were mixed, while Europe advanced after Fitch cut its outlook on Japan's sovereign debt to negative and the U.K saw its biggest increase in consumer confidence in 18 years.
It's the second day of the G8 Summit. Rich countries and international lenders are aiming to provide billions in funding for Arab countries trying to establish free democracies, AP reports.
Back in the U.S., a handful of economic reports are on tap -- personal income and spending, PCE prices, pending home sales and the final University of Michigan consumer sentiment reading for May.
ON THE BLOGS
* SPY Technicals — Memorial Day Edition - All Star Charts, via StockTwits
* What Are Markets Waiting For? - Seeking Alpha
* Seasonal Trends: What to Expect for June - Pragmatic Capitalism
* If You Are a Sugar Bull, This Post Is for You - Peter Brandt, via StockTwits
IN THE HEADLINES
* Fire Your Hedge Fund, Hire Your Congressman - Barrons.com
* Gold: The Bulls and the Bears - CNBC
* Small-Cap Run Is Done But Cycle Will Return - MarketWatch
* China Gold Imports to Surge: Report - CNBC
* In Hong Kong, MGM I.P.O. Prices at High End - NYTimes
* Trio of IPOs Struggle - WSJ
STOCKS TO WATCH
- Yandex (YNDX), the Russian Internet company, said the underwriters of its initial public offering have exercised the overallotment option, which will take the total amount raised to $1.43 billion.
- Google (GOOG) is facing a lawsuit over its smartphone-payment technology from eBay's (EBAY) PayPal, which is alleging one if its former employees, now at Google, was instrumental in creating the new service by relying on PayPal trade secrets.
- Sony (SNE) will start restoring the PlayStation network in Japan and other parts of Asia this weekend following the hacker attack of several weeks ago.
- Research In Motion (RIMM) says a shareholder lawsuit alleging that the company and its officers made "materially false and misleading statements" regarding its financial condition is without merit. The company plans to fight the suit.
UPGRADES & DOWNGRADES
- Weyerhaeuser (WY) was cut to sell from hold at Deutsche Bank, and its price target was lowered by $5 to $19.
- Broadcom (BRCM) was added to FBR Capital's top picks list.
- Nasdaq OMX (NDAQ) was reinstated with a buy at Goldman Sachs.
- IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) was restarted with a neutral at Goldman.
- DuPont (DD) was restarted at Goldman with a neutral rating.
- Aflac (AFL) was lowered from overweight to equal weight at Morgan Stanley.