After showing a significant move to the downside last week, stocks may regain ground in early trading on Monday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a modestly higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 27 points.
Traders may look to pick up stocks at relatively reduced levels following recent weakness, as the major averages ended last Friday’s trading at their lowest closing levels in over a month.
Overall trading activity may be somewhat subdued, however, as traders look ahead to the release of some key economic data later in the week.
On Friday, the Commerce Department is due to release its report on personal income and spending, which includes a reading on inflation said to be preferred by the Fed.
With Fed Chair Jerome Powell saying the central bank will require “substantially more evidence” inflation is on a sustained downward trend before halting its rate hikes, traders are likely to keep a close eye on the inflation reading.
Reports on housing starts, consumer confidence, new and existing home sales and durable goods orders are also likely to attract attention in the coming days.
Shortly after the start of trading, the National Association of Home Builders is scheduled to release its report on homebuilder confidence in the month of December. The housing market index is expected to rise to 36 in December from 33 in November.
Stocks showed a significant move to the downside during trading on Friday, extending the sharp pullback seen over the two preceding sessions. With the continued weakness, the major averages fell to their lowest closing levels in over a month.
The major averages regained some ground going into the close but remained firmly negative. The Dow slid 281.76 points or 0.9 percent to 32,920.46, the Nasdaq slumped 105.11 points or 1.0 percent to 10,705.41 and the S&P 500 tumbled 43.39 points or 1.1 percent to 3,852.36.
For the week, the tech-heavy Nasdaq plummeted by 2.7 percent, while the S&P 500 and the Dow plunged by 2.1 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index slid by 1.1 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index dove by 1.9 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets have moved to the upside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index has risen by 0.6 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index and the German DAX Index are both up by 0.5 percent.
In commodities trading, crude oil futures are rising $0.56 to $74.85 a barrel after tumbling $1.82 to 474.29 a barrel last Friday. Meanwhile, after climbing $12.40 to $1,800.20 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are inching up $2.20 to $1,802.40 an ounce.
On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 136.58 yen versus the 136.60 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Friday. Against the euro, the dollar is trading at $1.0598 compared to last Friday’s $1.0586.
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