U.S. Stocks May Move Modestly Higher In Early Trading

(RTTNews) - Stocks may 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 modestly higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 59 points.

The markets may benefit from optimism about further stimulus from global central banks, with the European Central Bank expected to cut interest rates at a meeting on Thursday.

Expectations for another interest rate by the U.S. Federal Reserve next week were also bolstered by last Friday's weaker than expected jobs data.

Data from China showing an unexpected drop in exports in August has also added to the hopes of more stimulus to stave off a global recession.

Official data showed Chinese exports in August unexpectedly fell by 1 percent compared to year ago, reflecting the ongoing trade dispute with the U.S.

Subsequently, the trade war also remains on investors' minds, although traders seem optimistic about high-level trade talks scheduled for next month.

Some political observers have suggested President Donald Trump may soften his stance on China in order to reach an agreement and prevent a U.S. recession just before Election Day.

Late in the trading day, The Federal Reserve is scheduled to release its report on consumer credit in the month of July. Consumer credit is expected to increase by $16.0 billion in July after climbing by $14.6 billion in June.

Following the strong upward move seen last Wednesday and Thursday, stocks showed a lack of direction during trading on Friday. The major averages spent much of the day bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before closing mixed.

While the tech-heavy Nasdaq dipped 13.75 points or 0.2 percent to 8,103.07, the Dow and the S&P 500 reached their best closing levels in over a month. The Dow rose 69.31 points or 0.3 percent to 26,797.46 and the S&P 500 inched up 2.71 points or 0.1 percent to 2,978.71.

Despite the mixed performance on the day, the major averages all moved notably higher for the holiday-shortened week. The Dow jumped by 1.5 percent, while the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 both surged up by 1.8 percent.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Monday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index climbed by 0.6 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite Index advanced by 0.8 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have turned mixed on the day. While the German DAX Index has risen by 0.4 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is down by 0.1 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is down by 0.7 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are climbing $0.45 to $56.97 a barrel after rising $0.22 to $56.52 a barrel last Friday. Meanwhile, an ounce of gold is trading at $1,521.60, up $6.10 from the previous session's close of $1,515.50. On Friday, gold slid $10.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 107.00 yen compared to the 106.92 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Friday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1046 compared to last Friday's $1.1029.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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