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Wall Street Wrapping Up First Positive May Since 2009


This week's volatility notwithstanding, Wall Street's major averages are on track to finish May with solid gains. The Dow, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq haven't posted gains in May since 2009, the year the market bottomed following the financial crisis. The Dow and the S&P 500 are both near breakeven for this week, after seeing a four-week winning streak broken with last week's losses.


The week concludes with a number of key economic reports, beginning with personal income and consumer spending for April at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists are forecasting that personal income will be up 0.1 percent following a 0.2 percent increase in March, while consumer spending is expected to be unchanged after rising 0.2 percent in March.


At 9:45 a.m. ET, the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index is seen rising to 50.5 for May, up from 49.0 in April. The 50 mark is key in this particular measure, as it marks the dividing line between growth and contraction.


At 9:55 a.m. ET, the University of Michigan's final May consumer sentiment index reading is expected to rise to 84.0 from the 83.7 preliminary May figure and the 76.4 final April number.


The corporate earnings calendar has no companies of note on it for this final trading day of the week.


Sony (SNE) remains a stock to watch, as the company evaluates investor Daniel Loeb's proposal to spin off its entertainment unit. The stock has risen 2.7 percent this month, and CNBC's David Faber reported Thursday that Sony has hired Morgan Stanley and Citigroup to consider its options. CEO Kazuo Hirai told CNBC's Closing Bell that the proposal will be thoroughly evaluated.


American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) increased its quarterly dividend by 14 percent to 12-1/2 cents per share. The new dividend is payable on July 12 to shareholders of record on July 1.


Saks (SKS) is also on our watch list, as the speculation continues on whether the retail chain will be merged with Neiman Marcus, which is owned by private equity firms TPG and Warburg Pincus. Dow Jones is reporting that Neiman Marcus turned down a proposal which would see KKR (KKR) make an investment in Saks and then see the two retail chains combine.


Krispy Kreme (KKD) earned $0.20 per share, excluding certain items, for the first quarter, three cents above estimates. Revenues were also above consensus, and the doughnut chain also raised its full year forecast because of improved sales.


Splunk (SPLK) reported a first quarter loss of $0.06 per share, in line with estimates, although revenues exceeded forecasts. The data analysis firm also raised its full year revenue outlook.


Lions Gate (LGF) earned $0.51 per share, excluding certain items, for its fourth quarter, beating estimates by seven cents, while revenue was well above analyst forecasts. The movie studio has benefited from the success of "The Hunger Games" and a deal which gave it control of the "Twilight" movies.


Palo Alto Networks (PANW) earned $0.06 per share for its third quarter, a penny above estimates. Revenues, however, fell short of forecasts, and investors are keying on a significant shortfall in cash flow from operations. That number came in at $15.2 million, well below Street consensus of $26.3 million for the network security technology company.


Clearwire (CLWR) has acknowledged receiving Dish Network's (DISH) improved takeover bid of $4.40 per share and said a special committee will review the new proposal.


Intel (INTC) will provide the processor for a new version of Samsung's Galaxy Tablet, according to Reuters. Intel's Clover Trail chip will be included in the Galaxy Tab 10.1.


Toyota (TM) sees a "good chance" that it will sell a record number of Lexus vehicles this year, thanks in part to a weaker yen.


Apple (AAPL) raised prices for its iPads and iPods in Japan, the latest foreign company to raise prices in response to a greater than 20 percent drop in the value of the yen since mid-November.


Boeing (BA) won a $6 billion order for 60 of its 737 MAX jets from British travel firm TUI Travel. Separately, Boeing said the 737 MAX will burn about 13 percent less fuel than originally anticipated.


Procter & Gamble (PG) will regroup its various products and brands into four sectors, according to the Wall Street Journal. Each sector will have a president who will report to recently returned chief executive A.G. Lafley.