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US futures tick up with Fed hopes still in play

Stock futures edged higher on Monday after logging their best week this year, as hopes continued to prevail that the Federal Reserve is ready to call an end to tightening.

S&P 500 (^GSPC) futures put on around 0.2%, while Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) futures hovered just above the flatline. Contracts on the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 (^NDX) added just over 0.2%.

The major US stock indexes soared on Friday after US jobs growth slowed more than expected and wage inflation cooled, cementing optimism for an end to Fed interest-rate increases that persisted into the new week.

Read more: What the Fed rate-hike pause means for bank accounts, CDs, loans, and credit cards

Investors will be listening out for confirmation when several Fed officials step up to speak this week, including two appearances by Chair Jerome Powell. Regional Fed presidents John Williams and Raphael Bostic are among those on the docket.

Some on Wall Street have cautioned that the optimism could be overdone, and to brace for volatility in stocks. Morgan Stanley strategist Mike Wilson warned last week’s stock comeback “looks more like a bear market rally rather than the start of a sustained upswing”.

Meanwhile, the market still has a stream of quarterly earnings ahead, while the calendar is quiet on the economic front. Disney’s (DIS) results due Wednesday are the highlight, with Dish Networks (DISH) and Tripadvisor (TRIP) set to report on Monday.

In commodities, oil prices jumped after top exporters Saudi Arabia and Russia confirmed at the weekend that they will continue with their voluntary additional production cuts. West Texas Intermediate crude futures (CL=F), the US benchmark, rose 1.9% to $82.01, while global benchmark Brent crude futures (BZ=F) put on 1.7% to reach $86.32.

  • Stock futures tick higher as Fed hopes persist

    The major US stock gauges were set to build on last week’s gains on Monday amid increased investor confidence that the Federal Reserve is done with rate hikes.

    Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) were up 0.11%, or 37 points, while S&P 500 (^GSPC) futures added 0.20%. Contracts on the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 (^NDX) put on 0.22%.

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