Monday August 7th


Earnings, North Korea sanctions set to take the spotlight on Wall Street

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a flat-to-higher open on Monday, as investors geared up for more earnings releases. Dow futures rose 21 points, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 2 points and 9 points, respectively. Earnings season continues on Monday, with a number of major companies set to report. Avis Budget, CBS and Marriott International, will be some of the names to publish earnings. Tyson Foods and Booz Allen Hamilton both reported earnings before the bell. On the data front, the consumer credit data is set to come out at 3 p.m. ET on Monday. Markets are also likely to get a boost in sentiment during trade, following Friday's stronger-than-expected jobs report. In the previous session, U.S. stocks finished on a high note, after the economy added 209,000 jobs in the last month, according to the U.S. Labor Department. In the political sphere, investors will be keeping a close eye on tensions surrounding North Korea. On Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump and South Korea's President Moon Jae-in jointly agreed in a call, to apply maximum pressure and sanctions on North Korea, according to Reuters. Meanwhile, North Korea responded to the United Nations' latest sanctions imposed on the country, stating that it would infringe the country's sovereignty; Reuters said citing the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). Looking to commodities, oil prices ticked lower in morning trade as rising output from OPEC members weighed on sentiment. At 8:14 a.m. ET, U.S. crude hovered around $49.06 per barrel, while Brent stood around $51.86. In Europe, stocks were under slight pressure in morning trade, while Asia-Pacific markets finished trade on a relatively positive note. Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 103.56 points, or 0.52 percent, to 20,055.89, and the Topix index gained 7.82 points, or 0.48 percent, to 1,639.27. Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi closed up 3.3 points, or 0.14 percent, at 2,398.75. In the Greater China region, Taiwan's benchmark Taiex index added 72.82 points, or 0.69 percent, to 10,579.38. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 0.42 percent in late-afternoon trade. Mainland Chinese shares also rose. The Shanghai composite reversed early losses to close up 17.46 points, or 0.54 percent, at 3,279.54, and the Shenzhen composite added 13.79 points, or 0.74 percent, to 1,872.28. Gold prices were little changed on Monday, failing to gain support from a weaker dollar as investors digested sharp losses in the previous session and worried about further U.S. rate hikes. Spot gold fell 0.08 percent to $1,256.90 per ounce. On Friday, it touched its lowest in just under two weeks at $1,254 an ounce and registered its first weekly decline in four. U.S. gold futures for December delivery fell 0.17 percent to $1,262.40 per ounce.