U.S. stock futures were struggling to establish a trend early Monday as the second half of the year gets underway.
How are stock-index futures trading
S&P 500 futures
rose 2 points, or 0%, to 4490
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures
fell 37 points, or 0.1%, to 34606
Nasdaq 100 futures
added 45 points, or 0.3%, to 15382
On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
rose 285 points, or 0.84%, to 34408, the S&P 500
increased 54 points, or 1.23%, to 4450, and the Nasdaq Composite
gained 197 points, or 1.45%, to 13788.
What’s driving markets
Moves in stock futures are minimal, with fresh market catalysts a bit thin on the ground early Monday, and the motivation to trade further denuded by the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq closing at 1 p.m. Eastern ahead of Tuesday’s Independence Day holiday.
“As we kick off July, U.S. Independence Day tomorrow will ensure a stop start week but it remains a big one with U.S. payrolls (Friday) and the global PMIs and U.S. ISMs through the week,” said Jim Reid, strategist at Deutsche Bank.
Investors may be excused for taking a pause after a strong first half of 2023.
The Nasdaq Composite rose 31.7% in the first six months of the year, helped by hopes the economy has not been too badly damaged by the Federal Reserve’s sharp increase in borrowing costs as it battled to push inflation down from a multi-decade high of 9.1% a year ago to the current 4%.
Large cap technology stocks, like Apple
have led the way. The Nasdaq 100 has jumped nearly 40%, adding nearly $5 trillion of value, according to Bloomberg.
And Nasdaq 100 futures are outperforming slightly on Monday as Tesla shares gain more than 6% in premarket trading after the EV maker announced over the weekend higher than expected sales.
Long-time bull Tom Lee reckons the market has further to rally. In his mid-year outlook note, the Fundstrat head of research has raised his year-end S&P 500 target from 4750 to 4825, citing expectations that inflation can fall faster, allowing for a dovish Fed pivot, and that the economy is “sliding into expansion” that will help earnings rise.
U.S. economic updates set for release on Monday include the S&P flash manufacturing PMI for June at 9:45 a.m. and the ISM manufacturing report at 10 a.m. alongside construction spending for May.