Wall Street Second Half Off To Positive Start

Investors have regained their enthusiasm for stocks, at least temporarily, with the first July trading session seeing the best gains for the Dow and S&P 500 since June 13, and the Nasdaq posting its largest one-day advance since April 16. U.S. stock index futures are currently indicating a continuation of that positive trend at the open, with tomorrow's ADP report and Friday's government jobs report for June in focus.

Today's lone government economic report occurs at 10 a.m. ET, with May factory orders seen posting a 2.0 percent increase compared to a 1.0 percent rise in April. We'll also get June sales figures from U.S. automakers throughout the morning. Current estimates from Edmunds.com call for year over year gains for General Motors ( 1.3 percent), Ford ( 11.7 percent), Toyota ( 7.0 percent), and Chrysler ( 10.1 percent).

Spirits maker Constellation Brands (STZ) is one of the few companies set to release corporate earnings this morning, with the after-the-bell calendar blank for today.

Walt Disney (DIS) is among our stocks to watch, with the company extending Bob Iger's tenure as chairman and CEO through June 2016. He had originally been scheduled to leave the CEO post in April of 2015.

Zynga (ZNGA) named Microsoft (MSFT) executive Don Mattrick as chief executive officer, replacing founder Mark Pincus, who will remain chairman. Mattrick is best known for building Microsoft's Xbox business, and his appointment had first been reported by All Things D during the trading day Monday.

Nielsen Holdings (NLSN) will join the S&P 500 after the close on July 8, replacing Sprint Nextel (S). Sprint will still be publicly traded after Japan's SoftBank acquires the bulk of its shares, but its public float will fall below the 50 percent level required for inclusion in the index.

Onyx Pharmaceuticals (ONXX) remains on our watch list, after a Monday rise that followed the rejection of a takeover bid from Amgen (AMGN). Reuters reports that Pfizer (PFE) and Novartis (NVS) are among several large pharmaceutical companies that have expressed possible interest in Onyx.

Starbucks (SBUX) is said to be testing cold fountain drinks, according to the Wall Street Journal. A drink known as "Cold Foam Mocha" is now available at some of its Nashville locations.

Achillion Pharmaceuticals (ACHN), the FDA has put a clinical hold on the company's oral hepatitis C treatment known as sovaprevir, citing safety concerns over the drug's interaction with an HIV treatment.

A. Schulman (SHLM), the maker of plastic compounds lowered its outlook for the fiscal year because of inconsistent orders in its European markets.