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Ad agency deal collapses;Gap jumps; Ralph Lauren falls; Is climate change a threat to the economy?

Hot Stock Minute

The economy could see some green shoots this spring after anemic growth in the first three months of the year. A Wall Street Journal survey of 48 economist forecasts annualized real growth in gross domestic product to be 3.3%, better than the 3% previously projected in April.

Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Aaron Task is a bit skeptical. Task says, “I don’t think we are anywhere near a recession, but 3% plus growth, I just don’t see where it comes from. What’s going to be the catalyst?”

Climate change is on President Obama’s agenda today. The president plans to outline new plans to promote energy efficiency when he visits a Wal-Mart (WMT) store in Mountain View, California. Obama is also expected to reveal commitments from 300 companies to make their buildings more energy efficient, which will help create jobs and reduce carbon pollution.  A government report earlier this week says climate change is disrupting the economy and will only get worse.

Poll: Do you believe climate change poses a risk to the U.S. economy?

In corporate news, the deal that would have created the world's largest advertising agency has collapsed. French Publicis Groupe and U.S.-based Omnicom Group (OMC) had announced in July that they were going to merge in a deal that would have created a company worth more than $35 billion. But regulatory approval in China, personality conflicts and disagreements over which company would be the acquirer derailed what was supposed to be a merger of equals.

Gap (GPS) is one of the stocks the Yahoo Finance team will be watching for you today. The company reported a sales surprise. The retailer’s April same-store sales rose 9%, blowing past Wall Street estimates. The Easter holiday and a big jump in sales of its Old Navy brand helped boost its monthly sales figures. The company also said it expects first-quarter earnings to be above expectations.

Elsewhere in the retail space, Ralph Lauren (RL) said that earnings for the full-year and the current quarter will be below estimates, despite reporting profits and revenue for the first three months of the year that beat analysts’ estimates.

Yahoo Breakout Host Jeff Macke says, “Watch the trade between Gap and Ralph Lauren all day as that plays out because one of those has got to give.”

“One of those has to move toward the middle,” he said.