MARKET SNAPSHOT: Dow Futures Rise, Setting Up Blue-chip Stocks To Blast Out Record After Holiday

01/15/18 09:55 AM EST

By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch

Stock futures trading to close early to mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Dow futures rose by triple digits on Monday, pointing to another record session when traders return from the long holiday weekend, as relentless selling in the dollar continued.

What are stock futures doing?

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average put on 162 points, or 0.6%, to 25,963, while those for the S&P 500 index added 5.05 points, or 0.2%, to 2,793.75. Futures for the Nasdaq-100 index were up 0.50 point to 6,775.75.

Stocks ended at record levels on Friday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/fresh-records-in-sight-for-us-stocks-as-earnings-inflation-data-loom-2018-01-12), as the three major indexes booked second-straight weekly gains, with investors upbeat after a batch of earnings and economic data.

The Dow industrials tacked on 228.46 points to end at 25,803.19, the S&P 500 index climbed 0.7% to 2,786.24, while the Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.7% to 7,261.

What is driving the markets?

U.S. stock and bond markets are closed Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but futures will trade a shortened session, until 1 p.m. Eastern Time. Trading volumes tend to be thin on U.S. holidays.

Read: Which markets are closed on Martin Luther King Jr. Day? (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/which-markets-are-closed-on-martin-luther-king-day-2018-01-11)

The dollar, which slumped 1% last week, was backpedaling again (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dollar-kicks-off-the-week-with-more-losses-2018-01-15) on Monday, and that pullback has been nudging investors toward stocks. A weaker greenback can lift the stock of multinationals, as it boosts profits when earnings overseas are translated into dollars.

Monday's rise in futures reflects an optimism among stock investors that has been seen since the start of the year, as well as an expectation that the fourth-quarter earnings season will fuel the rally further.

This week is expected to bring results from heavy hitters such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc.(GS) , Morgan Stanley(MS) and American Express Co.(AXP) , among others.

Read:This epic stock-market rally will get a second wind from stellar earnings (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-epic-stock-market-rally-will-get-a-second-wind-from-stellar-earnings-2018-01-13)

What are other markets doing?

The ICE dollar index was 0.6% lower at 90.445, with the greenback stacking up losses against the euro (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dollar-kicks-off-the-week-with-more-losses-2018-01-15), pound and Japanese yen.

A strong euro was hampering gains for Europe's Stoxx 600 index (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-lose-ground-as-euro-drives-further-into-3-year-highs-2018-01-15) , down 0.1%. The U.K. pound climbed as high as $1.3820, the strongest level against the dollar since the Brexit vote in June 2016

In Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index busted a 14-day winning streak (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/hong-kong-stocks-hit-new-milestone-nikkei-rises-despite-stronger-yen-2018-01-14) , while and Chinese stocks fell after disappointing data.

Gold took advantage of the dollar's weakness to march higher, up 0.5% to $1,341.40 an ounce.

(http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-log-3-year-highs-before-trump-issues-iran-sanction-decision-2018-01-11)Oil futures traded flat to slightly higher (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-dip-but-hold-around-a-3-year-high-as-dollar-slips-2018-01-15).

In cryptocurrencies, the bitcoin spot price rose 4% to around $14,159 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bitcoin-steadies-above-13000-as-ripple-drifts-south-2018-01-15).

What are strategists saying?

"With the euro (3 year) and pound (18 months) punching into new long-term highs against the dollar this morning, there is reason to believe that the combination of a weakening dollar and bullish tax reform outlook will ensure the U.S. markets remain the dominant space for investors," Josh Mahony, market analyst at IG, said in a note to clients.

Which stocks are in focus?

Citigroup Inc.(C) and UnitedHealth Group Inc.(UNH) will report ahead of the bell on Tuesday.

Shares of Ford Motor Co.(F) could be in focus on Tuesday, after the auto maker teased an all-electric SUV -- the "Mach 1" on Sunday, saying it will spend $11 billion on electric cars through 2022 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ford-teases-all-electric-mach-1-suv-coming-in-2020-2018-01-14). (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ford-teases-all-electric-mach-1-suv-coming-in-2020-2018-01-14) Ford made the announcement at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 15, 2018 09:55 ET (14:55 GMT)

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