Asian shares gained ground after investors viewed a better-than-expected Chinese export report as a sign that growth would resume after the European debt crisis. And speaking of Europe, stocks firmed after the Bank of England kept its benchmark interest rate at 0.5%, where it has been since March 2009.
Today investors will keep an eye on BP shares, which have lost half of their value since the April 20th oil rig disaster and subsequent spill. Talk of potential bankruptcy increased, though many contend BP has the wherewithal to withstand the financial costs (estimated to be as high as $35 billion) associated with the Gulf spill.
On the economic front, there will be the first release of weekly jobless claims since last Friday's data on foreclosures. RealtyTrac said that April foreclosure filings, which include default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions, decreased 3% from April to 322,920 and increased by less than 1% from a year ago. While down, the number remained above 300,000 for the 15th month.and investors will absorb the most recent
Finally, there are reports of a new pending SEC investigation into Goldman Sachs. Like the SEC's Abacus case, this one centers on a synthetic CDO called Hudson and was mentioned in this 2009 NY Times article. No charges have been filed. The story comes on the heels of the FCIC's document request.
Jill Schlesinger is the Editor-at-Large for CBS MoneyWatch.com. Prior to the launch of MoneyWatch, she was the Chief Investment Officer for an independent investment advisory firm. In her infancy, she was an options trader on the Commodities Exchange of New York.