Stock index futures opened relatively unchanged Sunday after major market indexes rallied to close last week on a positive note, being helped by continued stimulus from central banks overseas.
The foreign banks' stimulus decisions could influence the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision on whether to raise interest rates this year. China announced more stimulus on Friday and the European Central Bank said that it is open to further moves.
Over the weekend, General Motors (GM) continued to engage in labor talks with the United Auto Workers Union ahead of the Sunday night 11:59 p.m. deadline the union set for negotiations. The union informed GM Saturday that it would end negotiations Sunday night if no deal is met, according to Bloomberg.
Also, the United Services Automobile Association, which serves members of the U.S. military and their families, told its customers that it is dropping its partnership with Trifecta Stocks holding MasterCard (MA) in favor of Visa (V), Bloomberg reported.
Looking ahead this week, earnings continue to be in focus.
On Monday, we're paying attention to earnings from Broadcom (BRCM), a stock TheStreet's Jim Cramer said could get hurt after it reports, which is why he prefers Cypress Semiconductors (CY). Also on Monday, new home sales data is scheduled to be released, which, if strong, would make Lennar (LEN) a buy.
Tuesday we are paying attention to earnings from Apple (AAPL), a stock Cramer owns for his charitable trust, Action Alerts PLUS, along with Merck (MRK), Pfizer (PFE) and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY). Strong earnings from BMY would also make Eli Lilly (LLY) a buy.
On Wednesday, it's Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), another Action Alerts PLUS holding, General Dynamics (GD) and GoPro (GPRO) reporting. Cramer said to listen to Walgreens, buy General Dynamics and stay away from GoPro, a stock that's down 53% for the year.
Then, on Thursday, it's Amerisource Bergen (ABC) and McKesson (MCK) providing a snapshot of the state of health care, along with Starbucks (SBUX), yet another Action Alerts PLUS holding, and Electronic Arts (EA) reporting. Cramer endorsed both Starbucks and Electronic Arts.
Finally, on Friday, Chevron (CVX) will have Cramer's eye, along with Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD). Cramer said he expects Chevron to be weak and prefers Constellation Brands (STZ) over Bud.
Separately, Barrons' cover story this weekend spotlighted some of the most widely-used alternative investment products that apply hedge-fund-like strategies into more than 700 mutual and exchange traded funds that seek to provide the same risk/return profile with lower fees, more transparency and daily liquidity.
The article highlighted the $2.9 trillion hedge fund industry, which Barron's noted used to be the domain of only large institutions and the very wealthy, but has since become more accessible to the average investor.
And for some investment ideas, Barron's featured 18 picks from some of the "smartest" investors. Barron's conference panelists find value in airlines like Delta Air Lines (DAL), dollar stores like Dollar Tree (DLTR), FedEx (FDX), Volkswagen (VLKAY) and Puerto Rico bonds among others.
For even more information on data and earnings in the week ahead, you can reference The Street's weekly earnings calendar.
-- Written by Tony Owusu and Sebastian Silva