U.S. Stocks Likely To See Further Upside In Early Trading

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Following the strong upward move seen last week, stocks are likely to see continued strength in early trading on Monday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 140 points.

The markets are likely to continue to benefit from recent upward momentum, which has propelled the Nasdaq and S&P 500 to new record highs.

A slowdown in the spread of the coronavirus in different parts of the world and vaccine rollout efforts are likely to generate continued buying interest.

Traders also remain optimistic about the outlook for the global economy and the likelihood of additional U.S. fiscal stimulus.

Democrats have taken the first steps toward passing President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion relief package without Republican support but continue to favor a bipartisan approach.

Nonetheless, trading activity may be somewhat subdued amid a quiet day on the U.S. economic front, with some traders likely to remain away from their desks following the Super Bowl on Sunday.

Stocks moved mostly higher during trading on Friday, extending the upward trend seen over the past several sessions. With the continued advance, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 once again reached new record closing highs.

The major averages all finished the day moderately higher. The Dow rose 92.38 points or 0.3 percent to 31,148.24, the Nasdaq advanced 78.55 points or 0.6 percent to 13,856.30 and the S&P 500 climbed 15.09 points or 0.4 percent to 3,886.83.

Following the steep drop seen in the previous week, the major averages all moved sharply higher for this week. The Dow surged up by 3.9 percent, the S&P 500 spiked by 4.6 percent and the Nasdaq soared by 6 percent.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Monday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index jumped by 2.1 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite Index advanced by 1 percent.

The major European markets have also moved to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index has risen by 0.5 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is up by 1 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is up by 1.1 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are climbing $0.71 to $57.56 a barrel after rising $0.62 to $56.85 a barrel last Friday. Meanwhile, after jumping $21.80 to $1,813 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are advancing $14.10 to $1,827.10 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 105.52 yen versus the 105.39 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Friday. Against the euro, the dollar is trading at $1.2035 compared to last Friday's $1.2046.

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