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Futures Pointing To Mixed Open On Wall Street - U.S. Commentary

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Stocks may show a lack of direction in early trading on Monday after ending the previous week modestly higher. The major index futures are currently pointing to a mixed open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by down by 28 points and the Nasdaq futures up by 4.5 points.

Traders may be reluctant to make any significant moves ahead of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's semiannual testimony before Congress.

Yellen is due to testify before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday and before the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday.

The comments from the Fed Chief could have a significant impact on the outlook for interest rates ahead of the central bank's monetary policy meeting later this month.

Remarks by several other Fed officials may also attract attention this week along with reports on retail sales, industrial production and producer and consumer prices.

Among individual stocks, shares of ClubCorp Holdings (MYCC) are moving sharply higher in pre-market trading after the private golf club operator agreed to be acquired by Apollo Global (APO) for $1.1 billion in cash.

Personal care products maker Helen of Troy (HELE) may also move to the upside after reporting better than expected fiscal first quarter earnings.

On the other hand, shares of Intel (INTC) may come under pressure after Jefferies downgraded its rating on the semiconductor giant's stock to Underperform from Hold.

After showing a significant move to the downside last Thursday, stocks regained some ground during trading on Friday. The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 rebounded after ending Thursday's trading at their lowest closing levels in over a month.

The major averages finished the day firmly in positive territory. The Dow climbed 94.30 points or 0.4 percent to 21,414.34, the Nasdaq jumped 63.61 points or 0.1 percent to 6,153.08 and the S&P 500 advanced 15.43 points or 0.6 percent to 2,425.18.

For the holiday-interrupted week, the major averages moved modestly higher. While the Dow rose by 0.3 percent, the Nasdaq edged up by 0.2 percent and the S&P 500 inched up by 0.1 percent.

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

Meanwhile, the major European markets are turning in a mixed performance on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is just below the unchanged line, the French CAC 40 Index is up by 0.2 percent and the German DAX Index is up by 0.4 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are slipping $0.25 to $43.98 a barrel after tumbling $1.29 to $44.23 a barrel last Friday. Meanwhile, an ounce of gold is trading at $1,209.80, up $0.10 from the previous session's close of $1,209.70. On Friday, gold slumped $13.60.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 114.13 yen compared to the 113.92 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Friday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1393 compared to last Friday's $1.1402.

by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

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