Stocks are likely to move to the upside in early trading on Monday, adding to the strong gains posted last week. The major index futures are pointing to a higher open for the markets, although the Dow futures are up a relatively modest 71 points compared to more than 220-point jump by the Nasdaq futures.
The markets may continue to benefit from optimism about a new stimulus bill even though House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said talks will “remain at an impasse” until “serious issues” with the Trump administration’s latest proposal are resolved.
The White House has increased its offer to $1.8 billion in its latest proposal, but Pelosi still called the administration’s proposed bill “grossly inadequate.”
“The news is filled with the numbers in terms of dollars. The heart of the matter is: can we allow the virus to rage on and ignore science as the Administration proposes, or will they accept the scientific strategic plan in the Heroes Act to crush the virus,” Pelosi said in a letter to her Democratic colleagues.
“We have other differences in terms of who benefits from the spending,” she added. “But in terms of addressing testing, tracing and treatment, what the Trump Administration has offered is wholly insufficient.”
Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows sent a letter to members of the House and Senate accusing Democrats of refusing to compromise on bipartisan legislation.
“It is not just about the top-line number but also about legislation that can be passed by both the House and the Senate and signed into law by President Trump to help the American people,” Mnuchin and Meadows wrote.
Mnuchin and Meadows urged Congress to vote on a bill allowing the administration to spend unused Paycheck Protection Program funds while negotiations on a comprehensive package continue.
“The all-or-nothing approach is an unacceptable response to the American people,” Mnuchin and Meadows wrote.
Nonetheless, overall trading activity may be somewhat subdued, as banks and the bond markets are closed for the Columbus Day holiday.
The looming earnings season may also keep some traders on the sidelines, with Citigroup (C), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Bank of America (BAC) Goldman Sachs (GS), and Morgan Stanley (MS) among the companies due to report their quarterly results in the coming days.
Stocks moved mostly higher during trading on Friday, extending the upward move seen over the course of the two previous sessions. With the continued advanced, the major averages once again ended the session at their best closing levels in over a month.
The major averages all closed firmly positive, although the tech-heavy Nasdaq outperformed its counterparts. While the Nasdaq jumped 158.96 points or 1.4 percent to 11,579.94, the Dow climbed 161.39 points or 0.6 percent to 28,586.90 and the S&P 500 advanced 30.30 points or 0.9 percent to 3,477.13.
For the week, the Nasdaq soared by 4.6 percent, while the S&P 500 and the Dow surged up by 3.8 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher on Monday, although Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index bucked the uptrend and dipped by 0.3 percent. China’s Shanghai Composite Index spiked by 2.6 percent, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose by 0.6 percent.
The major European markets have also moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index has inched up by 0.1 percent, the German DAX Index is up by 0.6 percent and the French CAC 40 Index is up by 0.9 percent.
In commodities trading, crude oil futures are sliding $0.58 to $40.02 a barrel after falling $0.59 to $40.60 a barrel last Friday. Meanwhile, after soaring $30.90 to $1,921.90 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are rising $4.90 to $1,931.10 an ounce.
On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 105.40 yen versus the 105.62 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Friday. Against the euro, the dollar is trading at $1.1808 compared to last Friday’s $1.1826.
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