Stock futures are little changed after the S&P 500’s best week since March

U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Monday after a broad-based rally that pushed the S&P 500 to its best week since March and its highest level since August. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 futures were flat, while Nasdaq-100 futures dipped 0.15%. Oil prices briefly climbed more than 1% after Saudi Arabia announced it would further cut output by 1 million barrels per day starting in July. The news followed a meeting of OPEC and its allies, during which the group decided to stick to existing 2023 production targets. On Friday, stocks rallied to end the week following strong jobs data for the month of May. The Dow jumped 2.1% for its best day since January. The S&P 500 rose 1.45%, while the Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.1% and posted its sixth straight weekly advance. “Despite the rising number of leading indicators that indicate a recession coming soon, continued strength in the labor market and stubborn levels of personal consumption are pushing the onset further down the road,” said Mace McCain, chief investment officer at Frost Investment Advisors. “We don’t think the economy can tip into recession until employment weakens materially,” he added. “The unemployment rate has spiked with every decline in job openings going back to the 1950′s but [has] yet to happen this cycle. This trend could continue, hence delaying the recession.” To be sure, investor worries persist over what has so far proven a narrow stock market rally in 2023, led by just a handful of tech stocks that have been carrying the rest of the market, and whether there could be an intermediate-term correction if breadth doesn’t improve. “The big question is whether breadth can continue to improve, which could breathe new life into what had been a very narrow rally,” Yung-Yu Ma, chief investment strategist at BMO, told CNBC. “Recent banking sector developments are also encouraging, and repeated signs of labor market strength are reducing the risk negative outcomes. Monday service PMI numbers and factory orders could help reinforce the positive narrative,” he added. Asia-Pacific markets are largely higher after U.S. President Joe Biden signed into law a debt ceiling bill that allowed the U.S. to avert defaulting on its financial obligations over the weekend. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 surged 2.2% above the 32,000 mark for the first time since 1990 to close at 32,217.43. The Topix was 1.7% higher and closed at 2,219.97. Oil futures also surged as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) kingpin Saudi Arabia’s decision to cut oil production by another million barrels per day. South Korea Kospi inched up 0.54%, ending the day at 2,615.41 and extending its Friday rally. The Kosdaq gained 0.26% to finish at 870.28. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was up 1%, ending at 7,216.3 and recording its third straight day of gains, ahead of the country’s central bank rate decision tomorrow. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index saw a 0.88% gain on Monday, extending its rally from the 4% gain recorded in Friday’s session. Mainland China markets were more mixed, with the Shanghai Composite up marginally to end at 3,232.44 and the Shenzhen Component declining 0.48% to end at 10,946.08. Oil prices rose following OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia’s decision to cut production by another million barrels per day. Both benchmarks were trading higher on Monday, although pared gains from earlier in the session. International benchmark Brent crude futures traded at $77.46 a barrel at around midday London time, up 1.8%, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures stood at $73.11, over 1.9% higher. Gold prices slipped on Monday as the dollar firmed after a strong U.S. payrolls report, overshadowing support from prospects that the Federal Reserve would pause its rate hikes this month. Spot gold was down 0.3% at $1,942.03 per ounce hovering near its lowest levels since May 30. U.S. gold futures shed 0.6% to $1,958.10.