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U.S. Stocks May Open Higher As States Plan Reopening

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Stocks are likely to move to the upside in early trading on Monday, adding to the gains posted in the previous session. The major index futures are currently pointing to a higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 216 points.

The upward momentum on Wall Street comes after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced plans for a phased reopening of his state's economy.

Cuomo suggested the first phase, which involves "low risk" businesses in the manufacturing and construction sectors, could begin shortly after New York's stay-at-home order expires on May 15.

The decision to announce the reopening plans comes as New York has seen as steady decline in coronavirus hospitalization rates, with Cuomo expressing optimism the worst is over.

"The numbers are on the decline. Everything we have done is working," Cuomo said during a press briefing on Sunday, "There's no doubt that we've gone at this point through the worst. And as long as we act prudently going forward, the worst should be over."

The announcement by Cuomo comes as other states, including several led by Republican governors, have already started reopening their economies.

Buying interest may also be generated amid optimism about additional stimulus ahead of Federal Reserve and European Central Bank meetings later this week.

Earlier today, the Bank of Japan expanded its monetary stimulus for the second straight month to support economic and financial activities amid the coronavirus pandemic.

After a strong start and a subsequent retreat into the red, U.S. stocks kept climbing higher to eventually close on a high note on Friday.

The major averages all ended firmly in positive territory. The Dow ended up 260.01 points or 1.1 percent at 23,775.27, the S&P 500 rose 38.94 points or 1.4 percent to 1,836.74 and the Nasdaq settled up 139.77 points or 1.7 percent at 8,634.52.

However, the averages posted losses for the week. While the Dow and the S&P 500 shed 1.9 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively, the Nasdaq eased 0.2 percent.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Monday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index spiked by 2.7 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index jumped by 1.9 percent.

The major European markets have also shown significant moves to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index has surged up by 2.4 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is up by 1.9 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is up by 1.6 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are plunging $4.12 to $12.82 a barrel after rising $0.44 to $16.94 a barrel last Friday. Meanwhile, after slumping $9.80 to $1,735.60 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are rising $2.10 to $1,737.70 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 107.05 yen versus the 107.51 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Friday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.0849 compared to Friday's $1.0823.

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