12:50pm (EST)

The bulls continue to climb a wall of worry and have pushed the blue-chips to a 52-week high after better-than-expected manufacturing numbers.  Most of the global markets are closed in celebration of May Day as it is one of the biggest bank holidays around the world.  May Day is like our “Labor Day” holiday but we don’t recognize it here in the U.S. 

Futures were pointing towards a flat open as Wall Street waited for the economic news that was scheduled for release shortly after the bell.  Momentum picked up after the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said manufacturing was up to 54.8, versus expectations for a reading of 53.  Prices Paid came in at 61 which was also higher than forecasts for a print of 59. 

Elsewhere, Construction Spending for March showed an increase of 0.1%, compared with a forecast for an increase of 0.5%.  Auto Sales are due out at 2pm (EST). 

A far as earnings, Shutterfly (SFLY, $30.58, down $0.58) has come down off its highs and is now trading lower after getting a 10% pop at the open despite reporting a quarterly loss.  The company beat analysts’ expectations on revenue as sales came in at $91 million versus expectations for $84 million.  The suit-and-ties had penciled in a loss of $0.32 a share but the losses were a tad smaller at $10 million, or $0.29 a share.

After the bell, Broadcom (BRCM, $36.65, up $0.05), Chesapeake Energy (CHK, $19.90, up $1.46) and OpenTable (OPEN, $45.22, up $0.50) will all unveil their quarterly results.

As we head into the second half of trading, the Dow is up 114 points to 13,328 which is a new 52-week and 4-year high for the blue-chips while the S&P is advancing 16 points to 1,414.  The Nasdaq is higher by 33 points and 3,079.

The talking heads are cheering the bulls on but they haven’t said a word about tomorrow’s ADP Employment Change report which is due out at 8:15am.  If it is bad, today’s rally could fizzle in a hurry but if it’s better-than-expected, the S&P and Nasdaq could be joining the blue-chips in setting new highs for the year.

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