Monday October 9th

9-10-2017

Wall Street set to post modest gains at open as investors look to global politics

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open Monday, as investors turned their attention to political developments both at home and overseas. Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 56 points, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures advanced 5 points and 15 points, respectively. While the U.S. is recognizing the Columbus Day holiday, stock markets will still be open for trade. However, the bond market will remain closed for the day. With little data or earnings set to come out Monday, investors on Wall Street are likely to turn their attention to news surfacing from the domestic political sphere and from markets overseas. Over the weekend, U.S. President Donald Trump called for more money to fund a border wall, and for thousands more immigration officers to be a part of any agreement linked to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Reuters reported. The news agency went on to report that Congressional Democrats rejected these calls in exchange for renewed protection of "Dreamers". Meanwhile, tensions between the U.S. and Turkey will be closely watched, after news emerged that the U.S. embassy in Ankara had announced the suspension of visa services for security reasons, an action which was matched by Turkey shortly afterward. Elsewhere, markets are likely to still be mulling over Friday's jobs number, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that U.S. nonfarm payrolls had declined by 33,000 during the previous month, due to the recent havoc inflicted by hurricanes in the region. Economists polled by Reuters had expected an addition of 90,000 jobs during September, rather than a loss. In Europe, the fifth round of Brexit talks between the U.K. and the European Union is set to commence in Brussels on Monday. Meanwhile, investors will also be keeping a close eye on Spain and the political instability surrounding Catalonia. In commodities, oil prices steadied during early market trade, on the back of news that the number of rigs that were drilling for new oil in the U.S. had declined, Reuters reported. At 8:07 a.m. ET, U.S. crude traded around $49.29 per barrel, while Brent hovered around $55.34. Overseas, European stocks were trading in the black during early market trade, while markets in Asia closed on a mostly higher note. With Japan, South Korea and Taiwan markets closed for public holidays, investors turned their attention to China as mainland markets resumed trade after the week-long "Golden Week" holiday. Markets on the mainland rallied, shrugging off lackluster services data released earlier in the session. The Shanghai Composite climbed 0.77 percent, or 25.9310 points, to close at 3,374.8741 and the Shenzhen Composite surged 1.304 percent, or 25.9379 points, to finish the session at 2,014.4295. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was off 0.47 percent by 3:14 p.m. HK/SIN. Gold rose on Monday, erasing all of the previous week's losses, as a steadier dollar and the resilience of a key chart level removed some downward pressure, while the return of Chinese buyers to the market also lent support. Spot gold was up 0.5 percent at $1,281.52 an ounce at 1025 GMT, while U.S. gold futures for December delivery were up $8.90 an ounce at $1,283.80.