Futures Pointing To Mixed Open On Wall Street

On the heels of the roller coaster ride seen last week, the major U.S. stock indexes may move in opposite directions in early trading on Monday. While the Dow futures are currently up by 0.6 percent, the Nasdaq 100 futures are down by 0.3 percent.

Cyclical stocks may benefit from easing concerns about the Omicron variant of the coronavirus amid indications the new strain causes milder symptoms.

President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN it is too early to make definitive statements but said early signals regarding the severity of Omicron are “encouraging.”

Fauci also expressed optimism the Biden administration could lift travel restrictions on several African nations in a “reasonable period of time.”

Meanwhile, technology stocks may extend the sell-off seen in the previous session due to concerns about the Federal Reserve accelerating the pace of reductions to its asset purchase program.

Reports suggest the Fed could decide to double the pace of tapering to $30 billion per month as early as its monetary policy meeting next week.

Overall trading activity may be somewhat subdued, however, as a lack of major U.S. economic data keeps some traders on the sidelines.

Reports on the U.S. trade deficit, weekly jobless claims, consumer prices and consumer sentiment are likely to attract attention in the coming days.

Following the rally seen on Thursday, stocks moved back to the downside during trading on Friday. The tech-heavy Nasdaq showed a particularly steep drop, tumbling to its lowest closing level in well over a month.

The Nasdaq plunged 295.85 points or 1.9 percent to 15,085.47 and the S&P 500 slid 38.67 points or 0.8 percent to 4,538.43, while the narrower Dow climbed well off its worst levels but still closed down 59.71 points or 0.2 percent at 34,580.08.

The major averages went on a rollercoaster ride over the course of the week before finish notably lower. While the Nasdaq plummeted by 2.6 percent, the S&P 500 slumped by 1.2 percent and the Dow fell by 0.9 percent.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index fell by 0.4 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index tumbled by 1.8 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have shown strong moves to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index has advanced by 0.7 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index are both jumping by 1.1 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are spiking $2.10 to $68.35 a barrel after slipping $0.24 to $66.26 a barrel last Friday. Meanwhile, after surging $21.20 to $1,783.90 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are edging down $2.50 to $1,781.40 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 113.15 yen versus the 112.80 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Friday. Against the euro, the dollar is trading at $11296 compared to last Friday’s $1.1315.

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