U.S. stock futures were higher Monday after the three major averages notched their seventh straight week of gains. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 63 points, or 0.2%. The S&P 500 futures advanced 0.3%, while Nasdaq 100 futures rose 0.2%. The winning streak for the S&P 500 marked its longest string of weekly gains since 2017. The broad market index is up by 3.3% for the month, while the Dow and Nasdaq are 3.8% and 4.1% higher, respectively. The Dow also posted an intraday record on Friday, and the Nasdaq 100 had a new closing high. Investor sentiment took a positive turn last week after the Federal Reserve indicated three short-term interest rate cuts are expected in 2024 amid cooling inflation. “Slowing inflation, low growth expectations, and intact growth momentum is a great combination from a market perspective. We’ve argued time and again that this is a backdrop that is as Goldilocks as it gets,” HSBC chief multi-asset strategist Max Kettner wrote in a Friday note. Kettner noted, however, that near-term growth and earnings expectations in the U.S. remain weak. The current winning streak seems similar to the 2017-2018 market rally, he added, where broadly bullish sentiment gave way to disappointment in January “by the blow-up in implied equity market volatility.” “So, for the first time in H2, we are starting to be wary of the positive momentum. It may be prudent to start 2024 on a more cautious note,” Kettner said. The 10-year Treasury note yield slipped Monday as traders continued to digest the unexpectedly dovish tone of the U.S. Federal Reserve last week. The yield on the 10-year Treasury was more than 1 basis point lower at 3.913%. On Thursday, the yield fell below the 4% level, hitting its lowest since July. The 2-year Treasury yield eased by more than 3 basis points to 4.417%, below the closely watched 4.5% level. Asia-Pacific markets were mostly lower Monday at the start of the penultimate week of 2023, while South Korean shares bucked the trend as defense stocks led gains. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 closed 0.22% lower at 7,426.40, snapping a six-day winning streak. Japan’s Nikkei 225 dropped 0.64% to end at 32,758.98, while the Topix fell 0.66% to 2,316.86. South Korea’s Kospi reversed earlier declines to close 0.13% higher at 2,566.86; the small-cap Kosdaq rose 1.51% to end at 850.96. Shares of defense companies were broadly higher. Korea Aerospace Industries’ stock and Hyundai Rotem were up about 1% each, but shares of Hanhwa Aerospace dipped. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dropped by about 1% during its final hour of trading, while the mainland Chinese CSI 300 inched lower by 0.36% to notch a four-day losing streak and hit fresh four-year lows. Oil rose more than 2% on Monday as attacks by the Houthis on ships in the Red Sea raised concerns of oil supply disruptions, although ample supply and skepticism around Russia’s plan to cut exports in December limited gains. A Norwegian-owned vessel was attacked in the Red Sea on Monday and oil major BP said it has temporarily paused all transits through the Red Sea. Other shipping firms said over the weekend that they would avoid the route. The West Texas Intermediate contract for January gained $1.90, or 2.66%, to trade at $73.33, while the Brent contract for February rose $2.06, or 2.69%, to $78.61 a barrel. Gold prices climbed on Monday, buoyed by a weaker dollar and bond yields as markets awaited U.S. inflation data due this week to ascertain the Federal Reserve’s policy path after a dovish spin last week. Spot gold was up 0.3% at $2,025.49 per ounce. U.S. gold futures were higher by 0.2% at $2,039.40.