Stocks got off to a positive start, albeit a quiet one following the Memorial Day weekend. Many traders are waiting for the nonfarm payrolls report that comes out on Friday.
In the meantime, the S&P 500 is up by 2 points to 2,101, the Dow Jones Industrial average is rising by 14 points to 17,894 and the Nasdaq is up by 7 points to 4,940. The S&P Retail ETF is up by 15 cents to $42.45.
Consumer spending climbed the most in seven years during April, according to the Commerce Department. Consumer purchases increased by 1 percent versus the 0.7 percent that was forecast. Much of this spike was due to rising gas prices. Personal income increased $69.8 billion, or 0.4 percent, and disposable income rose $63.5 billion, or 0.5 percent. Purchases of durable goods popped 2.2 percent.
Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. gained 20 cents to $41.99 even though its target price was cut by Wedbush Securities to $43 from $52. Nordstrom Inc. has refuted reports that it cut back on its Michael Kors handbag offerings. Kors will report its earnings on Wednesday before the market opens.
Abercrombie & Fitch Co. shares dropped 10 cents to $20.10 after it was learned that the put options for the shares had been climbing. The put options are purchased when a trader believes the stock will fall further. Abercrombie stock has plunged 35 percent in the past three months.
Later today, Ascena Retail Group Inc. reports its earnings. The stock moved higher on Friday ahead of the earnings that will be reported after the market close. The FactSet estimate for earnings is 13 cents per share and the sales estimate is for $1.7 billion in sales. The stock trended up more than 3 percent to $7.42 in early trading.
Asian markets all traded higher after a report from Goldman Sachs said there was an increased likelihood that Chinese A-shares will be included in MSCI’s June rebalancing. That caused the Chinese Shanghai Composite to close higher by 3.3 percent. The Japanese Nikkei closed up by 1 percent and the Hong Kong Hang Seng ended the day higher by 0.9 percent.
Europe was not so lucky. The German retail sales for April missed estimates and the automakers all fell on disappointing results. The German DAX dropped by 0.3 percent, the U.K. FTSE fell by 0.2 percent and the French CAC has slipped by 0.3 percent.