1) Citigroup's better than expected earnings and revenues are lifting financials. The main point here is that expectations were already very low. CEO Michael Corbat said that both Citi's "consumer and institutional businesses performed well and we grew both loans and deposits while holding the line on our expenses."
Northeast Regional bank M&T Bank also jumped over the market's low bar. CFO Rene Jones noted that the first two months of the quarter saw lower than normal levels of activity "followed by a rebound in March."
2) While volume was heavier than normal last week (particularly at the NASDAQ), it's unlikely we will see a repeat this week. Passover starts tonight, and the markets are closed on Friday. Many traders have taken the whole week off; (here in the metro New York region, the subway was definitely less congested than usual).
3) The above, however, doesn't mean we won't get any stock movement this week. Besides earnings, China will report first quarter gross domestic product (GDP) figures Tuesday night; the expectation is for growth of 7.3 percent.
4) European Central Bank (ECB) head Mario Draghi was trying to talk down the euro over the weekend. He argued that the higher the currency rises, the more likely the ECB will do quantitative easing, perhaps in the form of a negative deposit rate. Essentially, that would be a tax on banks that park money with the ECB.
5) There have been reports that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) may be considering a pilot program for a limited test of the "trade-at" rule, which would require dark pools to provide price improvement, rather than just the best available bid or offer.
Pilot programs are not very well liked at the SEC (I am told there are over 50 of them), but in this case a pilot program would have the advantage of giving the appearance of doing something without actually doing something.
Another advantage: there is a provision in the JOBS Act asking the SEC to do a pilot program that would allow certain low volume, low market capitalization stocks to trade in increments other than a penny. This could likely be incorporated into that program.
—By CNBC's Bob Pisani