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Market Update

Greek Drama, Looming Jobs Data, Beefy Dollar Keep Stock Traders on Edge

June 2, 2015

Early stock action Tuesday is all over the board, driven by Greece’s saga, jitters ahead of Friday’s closely watched monthly jobs data, and renewed U.S. dollar strength. It’s hard to imagine a U.S. stock market working independent of Greek developments and the looming data piece from the vital labor market.

Just to give you an idea, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were able to claw back from a triple digit loss—other equity futures were sharply lower as well—simply on a fresh ripple of hope that Greece’s lenders were nearing a bailout deal. U.S. declines did pale next to European stock losses.

Key European leaders met International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi late Monday to prepare a draft agreement to present to Greece, according to the Wall Street Journal. The agreement would unlock the next tranche of bailout cash and is considered by these officials to be the “final” offer on the table for Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, the Journal said.


FIGURE 1: 2100 HOLDS. Volatile trading greeted stock investors this week but the broad-based S&P 500 (SPX) has so far held the closely watched 2100 line. Data source: Standard & Poor’s. Chart source: TD Ameritrade’s thinkorswim® platform. For illustrative purposes only. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

Currencies Impact Commodities Impact Stocks. The euro moved down some 1% versus the U.S. dollar, another significant move tied to Greece uncertainty and enough to spark at least a short-term revival for major commodities spanning oil to corn to soybeans. Crude oil is holding above $60 a barrel as OPEC ministers prepare to meet in Vienna and will address global supply, including the continuing U.S. threat.

Flat Auto Sales? As investors continue to wonder why improved hiring isn’t quite translating into big-ticket spending, auto makers issue May sales numbers today. Demand is anticipated to be flat or down slightly from the same period a year ago, according to industry economists. They cite one less selling day in the month and lower demand for rental car fleets. Analysts expect sales of 1.59 million vehicles in May. That may be down about 1% year-over-year, but it still keeps the industry on track to hit an annual rate of 17.3 million vehicles based on the first five months of the year, Fortune reports. The 17 million level hasn’t been seen since 2001, according to industry figures.

Just a Few Earnings. Not much to report from the earning’s corner as the reporting season winds down dramatically. Among those out with results, Dollar General’s (DG) report repeated a familiar theme: a profit beat but a sales/revenue miss. DG said profit was up 14% in Q1 compared to a year earlier, a better result than Wall Street expected. Sales just missed the Street consensus. Guess (GES), meanwhile, is up with results later on. The MarketWatch survey indicates a wider, $0.05 per-share loss for it, compared to a $0.03 per-share loss in the same quarter a year earlier.

Good trading,

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