The question that's lingering in the minds of investors as they ready for a shortened week of trading is will the economy ever come alive this year. So far, growth has fallen short of expectations, barely expanding in the first quarter after a strong finish to 2013. Wall Street had something to celebrate on Friday. The S&P 500 stock index closed above 1,900 for the first time. Futures point to a strong start after the holiday weekend.
- International stock markets were muted today as tensions in the Ukraine and in the South China Sea flared, while hopes for further monetary easing in Europe helped push Japan's benchmark to its highest level in seven weeks. The dollar gained against the euro and slipped against the yen. Benchmark crude oil fell slightly but remains above $104 a barrel.
- The Commerce Department will report the durable goods numbers for April today and Standard & Poor's will release the S&P/Case-Shiller index of home prices for March and the first quarter. Also scheduled for release today is the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index for May.
- CEO pay is climbing higher and higher. An Associated Press/Equilar pay study finds that the median pay package for a CEO rose above eight figures for the first time last year. The head of a typical large public company earned a record $10.5 million, an increase of 8.8 percent from $9.6 million in 2012. A chief executive now makes about 257 times the average worker's salary.
- A top European Union official says a proposed solution to a dispute over Ukrainian natural gas debts to Moscow would see Ukraine's gas company pay $2 billion to Russia's Gazprom this week. That would trigger talks on the price Kiev should pay for future deliveries as it tries to avert a supply cutoff. The official says both sides must still consult with their political leaders and the gas companies involved and they have until tomorrow evening to approve the deal.