Wall Street is looking for direction and futures are little changed this morning, though stock markets around the world gained ground after Friday's U.S. market rally. Oil is slightly firmer, the dollar is up, and interest rates remain a cause for concern in the stock market.
There are no big economic numbers today to affect the course of trading.
Economists in the closely-watched blue chip economic forecast, released over the weekend, cut their expectations for 2007 GDP growth to 2.1% from 2.2%. The economists surveyed say slower consumer spending will result in slower growth. Meanwhile, Cleveland Fed President Sandra Pianalto spoke in Ireland this morning and said the slowdown in housing may have cut as much as 1% from annual growth, but it does not seem to have affected consumer demand much. She reiterated the Fed's message that inflation is the predominant risk.
Deal activity was light this morning, though the Wall Street Journal reported that General Electric's NBC Universal and Microsoft had discussed, and then dropped, the idea of a joint bid for Dow Jones that would derail News Corp's efforts to buy the company. (NBC is the parent of CNBC and CNBC is a partner with Dow Jones.)
Along Wall Street
Bear Stearns raised second-quarter forecasts for PCs, noting that May data was stronger than expected. Component shipments were above forecasts.
The brawling between Google and Microsoft is making headlines this morning. Google told antitrust officials in a 50-page white paper sent to the Justice Department and states attorneys general that Microsoft's new Windows Vista puts rivals at a disadvantage, according to the Wall Street Journal. The New York Times, yesterday in a front page story, reported that after reining in Microsoft for many years, the Justice Department is now in a position of defending the company in the U.S. and abroad.
Peeling Back Apple
CNBC's Mary Thompson will "live" blog for CNBC.com from inside Apple's developer conference today. The conference focuses on the new Mac operating system.
Russian President Vladimir Putin was quoted by the Financial Times today as calling for a radical overhaul of global financial and trade institutions to reflect the growing economic might of emerging-market countries, including Russia, of course. He says the world needs a new international financial architecture. Putin made the statement at a forum in St. Petersburg designed to show off Russia's economic muscle. CNBC global energy analyst Dan Yergin, chairman of Cambridge Energy Research, was at the conference and will discuss Russia's business and economic growth on Morning Call today. Yergin tells us the mood at the conference was very upbeat and that there is now more focus than ever before on Russia as a consumer market.