Monday August 2nd


Stock futures rise to kick off August trading after S&P notches sixth-straight winning month

U.S. stock index futures rose on Monday as investors geared up for the first trading day of August. Dow Jones Industrial average futures rose 93 points, or 0.3%. S&P 500 futures gained 0.4% and Nasdaq 100 futures added 0.5%. The S&P 500 and the Dow sit less than 1% from new all-time highs. Stocks continued to shake off concerns about the delta variant of Covid, and stocks that would benefit the most from a continued economic recovery led the gains in premarket trading Monday. Shares of Carnival Corp. were up 3% in premarket trading. Major banks including Morgan Stanley and Bank of America were higher. Airline shares were mostly higher. “We believe the reopening and recovery trend is on track and continue to see upside for equities,” wrote Mark Haefele, chief investment officer of global wealth management at UBS. “We expect the S&P 500 to climb to around 4,650 by June next year, versus 4,395 at present. But we see the greatest upside for cyclical parts of the market, including energy, financials, and Japanese stocks.” The Senate was finalizing the text of a bipartisan infrastructure bill, also bolstering optimism on Monday. The bill includes $550 billion in new spending over five years. That’s on top of previously approved funds of around $450 billion. Caterpillar shares added 1% in premarket trading. The S&P 500 managed to notch its sixth month of gains in July, although volatility increased amid concerns about the economic recovery in the face of the spreading delta Covid variant. It’s the best monthly winning streak for the benchmark since 2018. The Nasdaq Composite and Dow Jones Industrial Average added about 1.2% and 1.3%, respectively, in July, while the broad S&P 500 gained close to 2.3% last month. The U.S. is averaging more than 72,000 new Covid cases a day the last 7 days, according to the latest CDC shows, levels not seen since February this year. However, stocks still traded near all-time highs last week even as concerns about the delta variant grew. “At the end of the day, the stock market is driven by two things: 1) Earnings and 2) Multiples and until COVID (or China) begins to negatively impact one or both of those metrics, stocks can stay resilient,′ Tom Essaye, founder of Sevens Report, said in a note. Concerns about inflation also plagued the market, however a key inflation indicator showed lesser-than-feared price pressures on Friday. The core personal consumption expenditures price index rose 3.5% in June year-over-year. It marked a sharp acceleration in inflation, but came in slightly below a Dow Jones forecast of a 3.6% jump. Also on Friday, U.S. second-quarter gross domestic product accelerated 6.5% on an annualized basis, considerably less than the 8.4% rate of growth expected by economists polled by Dow Jones. On the earnings front, Amazon sank nearly 7.6% Friday after the tech giant reported its first quarterly revenue miss in three years and gave weaker guidance. But an overall strong earnings season continues to be a tailwind for the market. So far, 88% of S&P 500 companies that have reported have topped EPS estimates, according to FactSet. For the second quarter, the S&P 500 is on track to post earnings growth of 85.1%, which would be the best growth rate since 2009, according to FactSet. The first trading day of August comes with more big earnings on the way. Lyft, Amgen, Uber, CVS Health, General Motors, Roku and Square all report quarterly results this week. Square shares sank in premarket trading after Jack Dorsey’s payment company announced a $29 billion all-stock deal to buy Australian installment loan provider Afterpay. Square was off by 4%. Shares in major Asia-Pacific markets rose on Monday, as data showed Chinese manufacturing activity growth slowed in July. Mainland Chinese stocks jumped on the day, with the Shanghai composite up 1.97% to 3,464.29 and the Shenzhen component advancing 2.245% to 14,798.16. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index closed 1.06% higher at 26,235.80. Elsewhere in Japan, the Nikkei 225 jumped 1.82% to close at 27,781.02 while the Topix index gained 2.05% on the day to 1,940.05. South Korea’s Kospi closed 0.65% higher at 3,223.04. Oil prices fell on Monday on worries over China’s economy after a survey showed factory activity growing at its slowest pace in 17 months in the world’s second-largest oil consumer, concern compounded by a rise in oil output from OPEC producers. Brent crude oil futures skidded 99 cents, or 1.3%, to $74.45 per barrel while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures dropped $1.12, or 1.5%, to $72.83 per barrel. Gold prices fell on Monday as an increase in appetite for riskier assets weighed on the safe-haven metal, while investor focus is turning to a key U.S. employment report due later in the week to gauge the health of the labor market. Spot gold was down 0.4% at $1,806.90 per ounce by 0930 GMT. U.S. gold futures U.S. gold futures dipped 0.4% to $1,810.10 per ounce.