U.S. Stocks May Give Back Ground In Early Trading

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Following the substantial rebound seen over the course of the two previous sessions, stocks may move back to the downside in early trading on Monday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a sharply lower open for the markets, with the Dow futures down by 398 points.

Geopolitical concerns may weigh on the markets once again amid the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Ukrainians continue to hold out against the Russian assault, while news that Russian President Vladimir Putin has put his nuclear forces on high alert has led to worries about an escalation of the war.

Russian and Ukrainian officials are meeting on the Belarusian-Ukrainian border to discuss a possible ceasefire, although optimism the talks will lead to peace is low.

The West continues to ramp up sanctions against Russia in response to the invasion, leading to worries about the impact on the global economy.

Just after the start of trading, MNI Indicators is scheduled to release its report on Chicago-area business activity in the month of February.

The Chicago business barometer is expected to dip to 63.9 in February from 65.2 in January, although a reading above 50 would still indicate growth.

Extending the stunning recovery seen over the course of Thursday's session, stocks moved sharply higher during trading on Friday. The major averages all showed significant moves to the upside on the day.

Going into the close of trading, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 reached new highs for the session. The Dow soared 834.92 points or 2.5 percent at 34,058.75, the Nasdaq surged 221.04 points or 1.6 percent to 13,694.62 and the S&P 500 spiked 95.95 points or 2.2 percent to 4,384.65.

For the holiday-shortened week, the Dow edged down by 0.1 percent, but the S&P 500 advanced by 0.8 percent and the Nasdaq jumped by 1.1 percent.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Monday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index edged up by 0.2 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite Index rose by 0.3 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have shown substantial moves to the downside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index has plunged by 2.7 percent, the German DAX Index is down by 1.9 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is down by 1.2 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are spiking $4.21 to $95.80 a barrel after tumbling $1.22 to $91.59 a barrel last Friday. Meanwhile, after plunging $38.70 to $1,887.60 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are jumping $24.40 to $1,912 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 115.40 yen versus the 115.55 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Friday. Against the euro, the dollar is trading at $1.1199 compared to last Friday's $1.1268.

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