U.S. stock index futures rose on Monday following back-to-back weekly losses for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 as investors hoped Democrats and Republicans would reach a debt ceiling deal. Dow futures gained 56 points, or 0.17%. S&P 500 futures climbed 0.18%, and Nasdaq 100 futures advanced 0.15%. “The good news in our view is that amid elevated concerns among market participants, efforts to resolve the situation over raising the debt ceiling appear to have been ramped up over the past few days,” John Stoltzfus, chief investment strategist at Oppenheimer Asset Management, said in a Monday note. The S&P 500 and Dow lost 0.3% and 1.1%, respectively, last week with the Dow falling for five sessions in a row. The S&P 500′s two-week losing streak is its first since February amid worries about a recession and lack of debt ceiling talk progress. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen hinted over the weekend that the U.S. would avoid a default. “I’m hopeful. I think the negotiations are very active. I’m told they have found some areas of agreement,” said Yellen in an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Saturday from Japan during a meeting of G-7 finance ministers. Yellen told CNBC last week that failure to hatch an agreement on the debt ceiling would “produce financial chaos” with Treasury currently giving June 1 as the date when it could fail to meet its obligations. President Joe Biden is expected to host top Congressional leaders on Tuesday for debt ceiling talks. Wall Street on Friday absorbed a preliminary reading from the University of Michigan that showed consumer sentiment falling to a six-month low as debt ceiling negotiations drag on and as inflation continues to linger. On Monday, investors digested the May data for Empire State Manufacturing survey, which showed a collapse in manufacturing activity in New York. The survey fell 43 points from April to a reading of -31.8, below the Dow Jones estimate of -5. Asia-Pacific markets were mostly higher on Monday, even as two out of three major U.S. indexes recorded a second straight week of losses, fueled by concern over the U.S. debt ceiling and disappointing economic data. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index led gains in the region and climbed 1.62% in its final hour of trade, while mainland markets were also higher. The Shenzhen Component gained 1.57% to close at 11,178.62 and the Shanghai Composite advanced 1.17% to end at 3,310.74. Japan’s Nikkei 225 was up 0.81% to end the day at 29,626.34, with the Topix 0.88% higher to finish at 2,114.85. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.14% to close at 7,267.1. In South Korea, markets were mixed as the Kospi climbed 0.16% to end at 2,479.35, while the Kosdaq closed 0.96% lower at 814.53. Oil prices rose slightly on Monday as bullish sentiment about tightening supplies from OPEC+ cuts and a resumption in U.S. buying for reserves outweighed concerns about fuel demand in the top global oil consumers, the United States and China. Brent crude futures rose 39 cents or 0.5% to $74.56 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was at $70.45 a barrel, up 41 cents or 0.6%. Gold regained its footing on Monday after three straight sessions of losses as the dollar eased and investors remained wary of the U.S. debt ceiling standoff that could fuel worries of a global economic slowdown. Spot gold was up 0.1% to $2,013.99 per ounce, having hit its lowest since May 5 on Friday. U.S. gold futures were mostly unchanged at $2,018.80.
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