Monday April 16th

16-04-2018

Dow set to rise more than 100 points as Wall Street shrugs off Syria attack

U.S. stock index futures jumped ahead of Monday's open following a series of targeted missile strikes against Syria while investors also looked to upcoming corporate earnings results. Around 8:15 a.m. ET, Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 134 points, indicating an uptick of 142.86 points at the open. Nasdaq 100 and the S&P 500 futures indicated a positive start to Monday's session for their respective markets. Netflix shares rose more than 1 percent before the bell, while Bank of America gained 0.9 percent. Last week, the U.S. military conducted precision missile strikes against the Syrian government as a response to a chemical attack carried out in the country. The attack was conducted in conjunction with France and the U.K. The Pentagon described the U.S.-led strikes as a "justified, legitimate and proportionate response" to the Syrian regime's continued use of chemical weapons. Consequently, oil prices fell on Monday. On Monday, data and earnings are likely to keep investors busy. Retail sales and the Empire State manufacturing survey are both due out at 8:30 a.m. ET, followed by business inventories and the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index at 10 a.m. ET. Treasury International Capital (TIC) data will be released at 4 p.m. ET. In earnings news, Bank of America reported better-than-expected earnings and revenue on loan growth. Netflix is set to report its quarterly results after the bell Monday. On the central banking front, Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic will be speaking at the Shoals Chamber of Commerce in Florence, Alabama; while Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan will be in Florida at the International Economic Forum of the Americas' World Strategic Forum. News coming out of the White House will remain at the forefront, as turbulence surrounding the Donald Trump administration continues to rumble on. Former FBI Director James Comey said in an interview with ABC News on Sunday that Trump was "morally unfit" to be president. Asian stocks closed mixed on Monday, with markets in greater China lagging the rest of the region, as investors digested geopolitical tensions on the back of U.S.-led airstrikes on Syria last week. Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.26 percent, or 56.79 points, to close at 21,835.53 as the broader Topix added 0.4 percent. In South Korea, the benchmark Kospi dipped into negative territory before closing higher by 0.1 percent at 2,457.49. Greater China markets underperformed their regional peers. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index slid 1.75 percent by 3:10 p.m. HK/SIN as financials and technology names took a hit. On the mainland, the Shanghai composite lost 1.53 percent to close at 3,110.75 and the Shenzhen composite eased 0.52 percent to end at 1,824.77. The blue chip CSI 300 index, meanwhile, fell 1.6 percent on weakness in insurers and banking names. Oil prices eased on Monday after U.S. drilling activity rose and fears waned about escalating tensions in the Middle East following air strikes on Syria over the weekend. Brent crude oil futures were down 55 cents at $72.03 a barrel by 8:55 a.m. ET (1255 GMT) on Monday, , while U.S. crude futures were down 71 cents, or 1.1 percent, at $66.68 a barrel. Gold retreated on Monday, surrendering gains made in earlier trade on the back on this weekend's air strikes on Syria, as financial markets wagered the latest U.S.-led intervention would not escalate into a wider conflict. A softer tone to the dollar kept the metal firmly underpinned, however. Prices have trended sideways since January, buoyed by geopolitical worries but capped by expectations for further U.S. interest rate hikes and strong technical resistance at $1,360-$1,365 an ounce — their January, February and April highs. Spot gold was down 0.1 percent at $1,343.41 an ounce as of 8:04 a.m. ET after an initial dip, and U.S. gold futures fell 0.1 percent to $1,346.60 an ounce.