Futures Pointing To Modestly Higher Open On Wall Street

After ending last Friday’s choppy session mostly higher, stocks may see further upside in early trading on Monday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a modestly higher open for the markets, with the S&P 500 futures up by 0.2 percent.

Early buying interest may be generated in reaction to last Friday’s monthly jobs report showing strong job growth, which may help ease concerns about an economic slowdown.

Traders are also likely to keep an eye on developments in the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, as the conflict continues to impact energy prices.

Ukraine has accused Russia of carrying out a “massacre” in the town of Bucha, and Western nations have reacted to images of dead civilians with calls for new sanctions on Russia.

Overall trading activity may be somewhat subdued, however, as traders express some uncertainty about the near-term outlook for the markets following recent volatility.

Traders may look ahead to the release of the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s March meeting, which could shed additional light on the outlook for interest rates.

Among individual stocks, shares of Twitter (TWTR) are soaring in pre-market trading after a Securities and Exchange Commission filing revealed Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk has taken a 9.2 percent stake in the social media giant.

Shortly after the start of trading, The Commerce Department is scheduled to release its report on new orders for manufactured goods in the month of February. Factory orders are expected to decrease by 0.5 percent in February after jumping by 1.4 percent in January.

Following the sell-off seen late in Thursday’s session, stocks showed a lack of direction over the course of the trading day on Friday. The major averages spent the day bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before closing moderately higher.

A late move to the upside helped the major averages finish the day in positive territory. The Dow advanced 139.92 points or 0.4 percent to 34,818.27, the Nasdaq rose 40.98 points or 0.3 percent to 14,261.50 and the S&P 500 climbed 15.45 points or 0.3 percent to 4,545.86.

For the week, the Dow edged down by 0.1 percent, while the S&P 500 inched up by 0.1 percent and the Nasdaq advanced by 0.7 percent.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher on Monday, with the mainland Chinese markets closed for a holiday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index rose by 0.3 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index spiked by 2.1 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have shown modest moves to the upside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is just above the unchanged line, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index are both up by 0.1 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are jumping $1.89 to $101.16 a barrel after slumping $1.01 to $99.27 a barrel last Friday. Meanwhile, after tumbling $30.30 to $1,923.70 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are climbing $12.60 to $1,936.30 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 122.70 yen versus the 122.52 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Friday. Against the euro, the dollar is trading at $1.1006 compared to last Friday’s $1.1043.

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