Stocks Flat as Greece, Cyber Shopping Vie for Attention

Cyber Monday is shaping up to be the busiest online sales day of the year.  The folks at IBM Smarter Commerce say that as of 9 p.m. last night, online sales had grown 28.4% over last year.

The top search: Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle Fire, followed by Ugg boots.

A new trend is mobile commerce; a fifth of us used our mobile devices to surf retailers’ websites, and 1 in 10 made a purchase with our tablets or smartphones.

But investors yesterday were disappointed by the kickoff to the holiday shopping season.  While the Thanksgiving weekend numbers were good, growth was less robust than last year. That, plus worries about Greece’s ability to implement required reforms for its bailout, and the lingering fiscal cliff here in the U.S., pushed the Dow down 42 points at the closing bell Monday. The S&P 500 fell nearly 3 points for its first decline in six days. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq gained nearly 10 points, and ended higher for the sixth consecutive session –- a winning streak investors haven’t seen in ten months.

Tech stocks like Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) rose, hitting $19 a share for the first time in more than two and half years. Investors are optimistic about Yahoo's recent stock buybacks and new CEO Marissa Mayer's ability to turn around the struggling company.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) was another standout. A Bernstein analyst said Facebook will outperform the S&P 500 over the next year, and those comments sent shares of the social network up 8%.

Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) shares added nearly 7% and eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) rose almost 5% on Cyber Monday.

Futures this Tuesday morning are mostly flat. Investors have a data-packed session ahead, with S&P/Case-Schiller’s September home price index, November consumer confidence, and October durable goods on tap.  Investors are particularly keying into the latter, released at 8:30 a.m. ET, to see if Superstorm Sandy will affect consumers’ purchases of big expensive items, like TVs, generators, and washing machines.

Those are items kids certainly don’t want -- but they’re willing to make sacrifices for the toys they do want. A Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) survey finds that 84% of kids will give up playtime, 68% will clean their rooms for a year, and 23% would eat spinach for a year just to get the toys they desire for Christmas.

The survey also shows that 78% of parents plan to buy the same amount of toys for their children regardless of their behavior.  But shhh! -- their kids don't know that.