Futures Pointing To Initial Strength On Wall Street

Following the mixed performance seen last Friday, stocks are likely to move to the upside in early trading on Monday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 170 points.

The markets are likely to benefit from persistent optimism that lawmakers in Washington will ultimately reach an agreement on a new stimulus bill.

In a post on Twitter, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff Drew Hammill revealed that the Democratic leader spoke with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for just over an hour on Saturday.

“While there was some encouraging news on testing, there remains work to do to ensure there is a comprehensive testing plan that includes contact tracing and additional measures to address the virus’ disproportionate impact on communities of color,” Hammill tweeted.

Hammill said that there remains an array of additional differences that must be addressed in a comprehensive manner in the next 48 hours.

“Decisions must be made by the White House in order to demonstrate that the Administration is serious about reaching a bipartisan agreement that provides for Americans with the greatest needs during the pandemic,” Hammill said.

Traders remain optimistic that Pelosi and the White House will eventually reach an agreement, although it remains to be seen if the deal will have the support of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

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 October. Economists expect the housing market index to come in unchanged after jumping to a record high of 83 in September.

After moving sharply higher early in the session, stocks remained mostly positive throughout the trading day on Friday before coming under pressure going into the close. The major averages pulled back sharply in the final hour of trading, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq sliding into negative territory.

The major averages ended the session on opposite sides of the unchanged line. While the Nasdaq fell 42.32 points or 0.4 percent to 11,671.56, the Dow rose 112.11 points or 0.4 percent to 28,606.31 and the S&P 500 inched up 0.47 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 3,483.81.

Despite the mixed close on the day, the major averages all moved higher for the week. The Nasdaq climbed by 0.8 percent, while the Dow and the S&P 500 edged up by 0.1 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index jumped by 1.1 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell by 0.7 percent.

The major European markets have also turned mixed on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index is up by 0.2 percent, the German DAX Index is down by 0.2 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is down by 0.3 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are slipping $0.19 to $40.69 a barrel after edging down $0.08 to $40.88 a barrel last Friday. Meanwhile, after slipping $2.50 to $1,906.40 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are climbing $12.80 to $1,919.20 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 105.32 yen versus the 105.40 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Friday. Against the euro, the dollar is trading at $1.1782 compared to last Friday’s $1.1718.

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