Traders are hoping for a quiet end to the week, ahead of Monday's Memorial Day holiday.
They say, though, a lot will depend on what happens with April's existing home sales data, released at 10 a.m., and the price of oil. April's home sales are expected to come in at 4.85 million.
President Bush Friday is expected to make remarks for World Trade week at 10:35 a.m..
Stocks meandered Thursday, after two days of heavy losses. A better-than-expected jobless claims report helped the Dow finish up 24 at 12,625, and the S&P 500 up 3.64 at 1,394.35. The oil pressure was also off. After crossing $135, oil backed down, finishing at $130.81 per barrel, off 1.8 percent.
Oil's slump also paralleled a pickup in the dollar. It rose a half percent against the euro and 1.16 percent against the yen.
Treasury yields rose sharply, as selling hit the bond market. The 10-year's yield rose to 3.919 percent and the two-year was at 2.548 percent. Pimco's Bill Gross, in his monthly letter, said investors should demand higher yields to compensate for inflation. Gross also said inflation data is not reflecting the reality of what consumers are seeing at the checkout counter.
Stocks in the News
Yahoo put off its July 3 annual meeting to the end of July and announced its board was shrinking to nine members as one board member resigned. Yahoo said board member Edward Kozel stepped down to spend more time with his family. hmm. It sure looks like Yahoo is hoping to wear down investor Carl Icahn while it looks for some other deal. The Wall Street Journal reports that Yahoo could announce a search advertising deal as early as next week with Google.
Gap shares rose after the company reported that first quarter profit jumped 30 percent to $249 million or $0.34 per share.
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