Is the U.S. decoupling again? U.S. stock opened higher, though Greece and Spain are both down about 1 percent on concerns that contagion has not been contained and there will be more bailouts.
The first day of trading for the month has been up for the last several months.
We are expecting good news on the ISM number out at 10 AM this morning. It is expected to hit 60, a level it hasn't seen since 2004.
We also have China, which raised reserve requirements (the proportion of deposits that banks need to keep in reserve) for the third time this year (China and the U.K. markets are closed today), and Australia increased a tax on commodity producers.
1) BP down another 4 percent as it's clear we have no idea: 1) how much oil is spewing out of the site (it appears to be at least 5 times larger than initial estimates) and 2) what the ultimate cleanup costs will be (BP is self-insured).
One thing we know: BP's market cap has gone from about 190 billion to 163 billion in a few trading day, a drop of about 13 percent, and it's still dropping.
2) Continental Airlines rises 2 percent after agreeing to be acquired by United Airlines parent UAL for $3.2 billion in stock. The combined airline will operate under the United brand, but will be led by Continental's CEO Jeffrey Smisek. The new company will form the largest airline in the world, topping Delta's worldwide traffic by 8 percent and controlling a 21 percent market share of available seats in the U.S.
Continental CEO Jeff Smisek said on CNBC: "We have no international grid overlap at all and our domestic overlap is very minor and we have substantial competition in all of the overlap markets this should have no material anti-trust issues whatsoever."
3) Brazilian miner Vale is up 1 percent after agreeing to sell its aluminum operations to Norwegian aluminum & steel producer Norsk Hydro for $4.9 billion. As a result of the sale involving some of the biggest aluminum facilities in the world, Vale will get $1.1 billion in cash and a 22 percent stake in Norsk Hydro.
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