Wall Street was eyeing another week of gains, with a sigh of relief going through world markets as commodities showed signs of stabilizing -- although such signs haven't exactly proved reliable with the recent volatility there. But things aren't always what you would expect in that area. For an interesting analysis on why consumer discretionary stocks and energy have had a linear relationship vs. a more intuitive, inverse correlation (you would expect that as energy prices rise, consumers would spend less on, say, clothes), check out "Use Discretion on Gasoline Prices."
Investors will be getting a dose of inflation data, with the consumer price index, the most widely cited gauge of inflation, expected at around 8:30 a.m. ET. The data are expected to show an 0.3 percent rise in CPI in April, or an 0.1 percent increase to the core rate (if you factor out food and energy —- and don't most consumers wish they could do that). Consumer sentiment is also due out, shortly before 10:00 a.m. Meanwhile, investors are still fuzzy about the recent strength in the dollar: See Declining Dollar Gets a Reprieve.
In other headlines Friday, the New York Times looks at what this week's outcome to an historic insider trading trial means to Wall Street, and Smart Money takes a look at what it means to Main Street investors.
@alaidi: i drew 2 trendlines in $GBPUSD on Wednesday's piece.. it just broke one of them...
@JonathanHoenig: The Nasdaq is back to December 2000 levels circa Bush v. Gore
@businessinsider: Goldman Issues Huge Bullish Call On One Of David Tepper's Favorite Stocks
ON THE BLOGS:
Post of the Day: Corn Is the Rosetta Stone of the Markets and the Economy -- The Reformed Broker
Why Inflation in China Could Lead to Another Global Recession -- Money Morning
STOCKS TO WATCH:
* Nvidia (NVDA) reported an adjusted first-quarter profit of 27 cents a share, topping Wall Street estimates of 19 cents a share.
* Phoenix New Media Ltd. (FENG) kicked of its iIPO with a 34 percent rise in its American depositary shares on the New York Stock Exchange.
* Nordstom Inc. (JWN) on Friday reported 1Q earnings that were a penny below analysts' expectations. They also announced a share buyback.
* Agilent Technologies (A) is expected to report fiscal 2Q earnings of 65 cents a share.
UPGRADES & DOWNGRADES:
* Aetna (AET) has been upgraded to buy from hold at Citigroup.
* UnitedHealth (UNH) was upgraded to buy from hold at Citigroup.
* Coinstar (CSTR) could gain competitive edge over NCR, says Merriman.
* Dollar strength sends S&P back to the range — MarketWatch
* 3 Stocks the Recovery Has Missed — SmartMoney
* Amgen Can Pay Dividends — Barrons.com
* Las Vegas looks a lot like the new Detroit — MarketWatch
* Glencore to Emerge From Shadows With I.P.O. — NYTimes
* What Does $1,000 in Gold Look Like? — Minyanville
Compiled by Elizabeth Trotta and Rebecca Stropoli.
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