U.S. equity futures are indicated lower this morning as Greece continues to weigh on the markets and ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee's meeting today and Wednesday, with Chair Janet Yellen's conference on Wednesday afternoon.
European bonds are selling off, as the chance that Greece exits the eurozone, and consequently the European Union, grows in investors' minds. Yields are higher in Italy, Spain and Portugal as the talks between Greece and its creditors falter. Greece has to repay 1.6 billion euros ($1.8 billion) to the International Monetary Fund at the end of June. It has to make another, larger, payment to the European Central Bank in July.
The spillover effect from the Greek debt debacle is real, as in Germany, the ZEW monthly survey of economic sentiment plummeted to 31.5 in June from 41.9 in May. Separately, in China the Shanghai Composite Index continued its yo-yo ride, closing 3.4% lower.
Meanwhile, the Fed rate hike watch is on as we hear more details on Wednesday about the likelihood for a near-term (September) rate hike.
In the U.S., mergers and acquisitions fever has spread to the health insurance industry, where it has been recently disclosed that Humana (HUM) has put itself up for sale. Yesterday we learned that Anthem (ANTM) approached Cigna (CI) with a $45 billion buyout offer that was turned down. Today we learned that UnitedHealth (UNH) has offered to buy Aetna (AET) for around $40Billion.
Sadly, it will take a little longer next time you are shopping for some khakis as The Gap (GPS) ¿ a competitor of VF Corp (VFC), held in the Trifecta Stocks portfolio -- announced yesterday that it plans to close 26% of its North American stores (175 stores) along with some corporate staff reductions as they seek to restructure their operations.
Earnings calls of note today include: Jefferies (LUK), FactSet Research (FDS), Bob Evans Farms (BOBE), and Adobe Systems (ADBE).
The Federal Open Market Committee meeting begins today. At 8:30 a.m., May housing starts are expected, with consensus at 1.090 million (from a prior 1.135 million).
At 4:30 p.m., the API weekly oil inventories are released.