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 currently pointing to a higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 136 points.
The markets may benefit from recent upward momentum, which has helped lift the major averages to new record highs.
A batch of upbeat earnings news has contributed to the upward trend, as most major companies have reported better than expected quarterly results.
Trading activity may be somewhat subdued, however, as traders look ahead to the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy announcement on Wednesday.
The Fed is likely to leave interest rates unchanged but could announce plans to begin scaling back its asset purchase program.
Shortly after the start of trading, the Institute for Supply Management is scheduled to release its report on manufacturing activity in the month of October.
The ISM’s manufacturing PMI is expected to edge down to 60.4 in October from 61.1 in September, although a reading above 50 would still indicate growth.
The Commerce Department is also due to release its report on construction spending in the month of September. Construction spending is expected to increase by 0.5 percent.
Stocks showed a significant turnaround over the course of the trading session on Friday, recovering from an early move to the downside to end the day mostly higher. The rebound on the day lifted the major averages to new record closing highs.
The major averages ended the day just off their highs of the session. The Dow rose 89.08 points or 0.3 percent to 35,819.56, the Nasdaq climbed 50.27 points or 0.3 percent to 15,498.39 and the S&P 500 edged up 8.96 points or 0.2 percent to 4,605.38.
For the week, the tech-heavy Nasdaq surged up by 2.7 percent, the S&P 500 jumped by 1.3 percent and the Dow rose by 0.4 percent.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index spiked by 2.6 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slid by 0.9 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.3 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index are up by 0.7 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively.
In commodities trading, crude oil futures are rising $0.51 to $84.08 a barrel after climbing $0.76 to $83.57 a barrel last Friday. Meanwhile, after tumbling $18.70 to $1,783.90 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are up $6.30 at $1,790.20 an ounce.
On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 114.16 yen versus the 113.95 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Friday. Against the euro, the dollar is trading at $1.1573 compared to last Friday’s $1.1558.
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