Stocks prep for gains amid Greek bailout hopes

May 31, 2011: 9:16 AM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- U.S. stocks are poised to start the week in the black Tuesday, after a Wall Street Journal article stirred up hopes of a fresh bailout for Greece.

European markets rallied after the Journal reported Germany is shifting its stance to consider lending more money to Greece.

Previously, German officials had argued private investors in Greece should share some of the burden in any new bailout, but according to the Journal, Germany is now considering lending additional assistance, even without private bondholders getting involved.

Optimism about the possible bailout spilled over into the United States, sending Dow Jones industrial average (INDU), S&P 500 (SPX) and Nasdaq (COMP) futures slightly higher ahead of the opening bell. Futures measure current index values against perceived future performance.

Meanwhile, U.S. investors will also watch economic data closely this week, leading up to the government's highly anticipated monthly jobs report on Friday.

Overall, stocks have struggled in May, as investors wrestle with signs of a slower recovery. All eyes are on reports about home prices on Tuesday and the job market on Friday, the latest readings on the health of the economy.

"After a quiet start we have a big week data ahead to further assess whether the recent slowdown in US data is simply a temporary dip in activity or the start of a more worrying trend," Colin Tan, an analyst with Deutsche Bank said in a note ot investors.

Ahead of Friday's highly anticipated jobs report, CNNMoney's survey of economists forecasts that the U.S. economy created 178,000 jobs in May, down from 244,000 jobs a month earlier. The unemployment rate is expected to tick down to 8.9% from 9%.

U.S. stocks rose modestly Friday, with trading volume light as traders positioned themselves for the the long holiday weekend. The stock market was closed Monday for Memorial Day.

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The Dow is down about 2.9% from the beginning of the month, and the S&P 500 is down 2.4%.

Economy: According to the closely watched S&P Case-Shiller Index, home prices recently fell to their lowest levels since the housing bubble burst. Prices tumbled 4.2% in the first quarter, sending home prices back to levels not seen since mid-2002.

Investors will also received data from the Chicago Purchasing Managers index at 9:45 a.m. ET, followed by the Conference Board's consumer sentiment data at 10 a.m. ET.

Economists surveyed by Briefing.com expect the Chicago PMI index fell to a reading of 62.5 from April's 67.6, while consumer confidence rose to 66.3 versus April's 65.4.

World markets cheer Greek, Japanese news

World markets: European stocks climbed in midday trading. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 1%, the DAX in Germany surged 2.1% and France's CAC 40 added 1.5%.

Asian markets ended sharply higher. The Shanghai Composite rose 1.4%, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong gained 2.2% and Japan's Nikkei added 2%.

Early Tuesday, Moody's placed 12 Japanese regional governments on review for a possible downgrade.

Currencies and commodities: The dollar fell against the euro and the British pound, but gained versus the Japanese yen.

Oil for July delivery rose $1.65 to $102.24 a barrel.

Gold futures for August delivery rose $1.90 to $1,539.20 an ounce.

Bonds: The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury fell, pushing the yield up to 3.11% from 3.06% late Friday.  To top of page

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,493.37 -69.93 -0.42%
Nasdaq 4,352.64 -17.13 -0.39%
S&P 500 1,925.15 -5.52 -0.29%
Treasuries 2.50 -0.05 -2.00%
Data as of 7:33pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 14.98 -0.27 -1.77%
Apple Inc 96.13 0.53 0.55%
Facebook Inc 72.36 -0.29 -0.40%
General Electric Co 25.35 0.20 0.80%
Ford Motor Co 16.81 -0.21 -1.23%
Data as of 11:29am ET
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15 yr fixed3.26%3.29%
5/1 ARM3.37%3.34%
30 yr refi4.26%4.29%
15 yr refi3.24%3.26%
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