U.S. Stocks May Show A Lack Of Direction In Early Trading

Following the mixed performance seen last week, stocks may continue to experience choppy trading early on Monday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a mixed open for the markets, with the Dow futures down by 42 points but the Nasdaq futures up by 39 points.

Traders may be reluctant to make significant moves as they continue to weigh the recent surge in coronavirus cases in certain states against continued optimism about the economic outlook.

Florida reported 12,523 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, reflecting the fifth consecutive day the state reported more than new 10,000 infections

A lack of major U.S. economic data may also keep some traders on the sidelines as they wait for more upbeat news to support their unrelenting optimism.

The economic calendar remains relatively light throughout the week, although traders are likely to keep an eye on the weekly jobless claims report as well as data on new and existing home sales.

Earnings news may take the spotlight in the coming days, with IBM Corp. (IBM), Coca-Cola (KO), Microsoft (MSFT), AT&T (T), Twitter (TWTR), and Intel (INTC) among a slew of companies due to report their quarterly results.

Among individual stocks, shares of Noble Energy (NBL) are moving sharply higher in pre-market trading after Chevron (CVX) announced an agreement to acquire the oil and gas company in an all-stock transaction valued at $5 billion, or $10.38 per share.

Oil service giant Halliburton (HAL) is also likely to see initial strength after reporting an unexpected adjusted profit in the second quarter despite revenues coming in below analyst estimates.

On the other hand, shares of Nikola (NKLA) are likely to come under pressure after the electric truck maker filed to offer millions of shares related to warrants.

Following the pullback seen on Thursday, stocks showed a lack of direction over the course of the trading day on Friday. The major averages spent the day bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before closing mixed.

While the Dow dipped 62.76 points or 0.2 percent to 26,671.95, the Nasdaq climbed 29.36 points or 0.3 percent to 10,503.19 and the S&P 500 rose 9.16 points or 0.3 percent to 3,224.73.

The major averages also turned in a mixed performance for the week, as the tech-heavy Nasdaq slumped by 1.1 percent but the S&P 500 jumped by 1.2 percent and Dow surged up by 2.3 percent.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index inched up by 0.1 percent and China’s Shanghai Composite Index soared by 3.1 percent, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell by 0.5 percent.

The major European markets have also turned mixed on the day. While the German DAX Index has risen by 0.4 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is down by 0.1 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is down by 0.5 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are falling $0.35 to $40.24 a barrel after slipping $0.16 to $40.59 a barrel last Friday. Meanwhile, after climbing $9.70 to $1,810 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are rising $8.40 to $1,181.40 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 107.14 yen versus the 107.02 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Friday. Against the euro, the dollar is unchanged compared to last Friday’s $1.1428.

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