Weakness in the European PMI reports from both France and Germany sent stocks lower overseas. Investors are wrestling with the softness as being either further impetus for continued central-bank-driven fiscal stimulus or cause for concern as the economies remain unresponsive to the stimulus efforts thus far. The PMI fell to 53.5, below consensus of 54.4.
China added to the woes this morning as the Chinese PMI dropped to a one-year low of 49.2 in April, below estimates of 49.6, and is indicative of an economic contraction as it's below the 50 level.
In top news, it is being reported that the Federal Communications Commission is aligning with the Justice Department to oppose the merger of Comcast (CMCSA) and Time Warner (TWC).
Notable earnings today include Trifecta Stocks' Danaher (DHR), Rockwell Collins (COL) and Union Pacific (UNP), as well as Stanley Black & Decker (SWK), Dunkin' Brands (DNKN), Eli Lilly (LLY) and Wabco (WBC). There's also Growth Seeker's Lazard (LAZ) and Amazon (AMZN), as well as PepsiCo (PEP), Procter & Gamble (PG), Caterpillar (CAT) and 3M (MMM).
From Action Alerts PLUS, Dow Chemical (DOW), General Motors (GM:NYSE), Google (GOOG) and Starbucks (SBUX) are set to report. Also look for AbbVie (ABBV), Southwest Airlines (LUV) and Microsoft (MSFT).
The domestic economic calendar is loaded today, with initial jobless claims at 08:30 a.m. ET (consensus at 287,000), the PMI manufacturing index flash at 9:45 a.m. (consensus stands at 55.7), new home sales at 10 a.m. (consensus calls for 515,000), and the EIA natural gas report at 10:30 a.m.