Stocks in the U.S. for now, look ready to run at the opening bell, continuing yesterday's Fed triggered rally. Some fresh data, pending home sales, auto sales, and some big earnings, including oil companies, are the headlines investors will watch today. Chinese stocks stabilized overnight, and Japanese shares rose. Markets in Europe are higher, following gains in Asian.
We start February with the Dow up 1.3% or up 158.54 points for the year so far. January was even better to the Nasdaq, which gained 2% and the S&P was up 1.4%. Oil is firmer this morning, after a 4.8 percent decline for the month of January.
WHAT THE DELL! Wall Street likes it. Michael Dell's move to take the reins backat the company he founded has Wall Street analysts papering the street with fresh comments about the stock. Merrill put a buy on it and JP Morgan upgraded it to neutral. Also in the tech world, Google profits tripled for the fourth quarter but its stock fell. The Wall Street Journal throws up a flare with its headline that Google's growth may be "too hot." Our Jim Goldman will guide us through both these late day stories which will stay top of mind as the market opens this morning.
MERGER NEWS: An investor group led by Vornado is reportedly expectedto bump up its bid for Equity Office Properties . Marsh and McLennan will sell Putnam Investments to Great West Lifeco for $3.9 billion.CHAIN STORES: Only a few chain stores are reporting January sales today, and they are mostly drug stores. We'll see the real impact of the holiday gift card phenomena when the rest of the industry reports next Thursday. Our Margaret Brennan will cover the drug stores and the few others that report today.
THE STARS WERE OUT: The CNBC Executive Leadership Awards certainly brought out some of the bright stars of Wall Street last night. Taking top honors was former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan. He, of course, in an unassuming way reminded us why the markets had so much trust in his quiet, thoughtful leadership and why he was the rock star of business news. Mr. Greenspan received the life time achievement award. Thanks to Mark Haines, we got one more look at that old brief case that "Squawk Box" spent so many hours analyzing for an indication of rate direction when Dr. Greenspan carried it into FOMC meetings. More on the event and other winners will air on CNBC today. You can see the whole event Monday night on CNBC.