Stocks – U.S. Futures Higher; Spotlight on Apple Conference

This post was originally published on this site – U.S. stocks are set to open higher Monday, extending recent gains on enthusiasm over the economic re-opening, despite a rising number of coronavirus infections.

At 7 AM ET (1100 GMT), S&P 500 Futures traded 22 points, or 0.7%, higher, Nasdaq Futures up 75 points, or 0.8%. The Dow Futures contract rose 186 points, or 0.7%. 

These indices last week recorded their fourth winning week out of the last five, helped by the hefty amounts of fiscal and monetary stimulus and nascent signs of economic recovery.

Economic data points have continued to show improvement, with the initial jobless claims data dropping again last week, although the pace of decline stalled, while retail sales showed a sharp jump. 

The economy has continued to reopen, with New York City, one of the hardest hit regions in the U.S., moving to phase 2, allowing New Yorkers, among other things, to go to hairdressers and enjoy outdoor dining.

That said, the World Health Organization reported a record jump in global coronavirus cases on Sunday, with the biggest increase seen in North and South America.

There have also been spikes in coronavirus infection rates in several U.S. states, notably in the south of the country. Nearly 120,000 Americans have died to date, over one quarter of the global total of 469,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Economic data releases are limited Monday, with May’s existing home sales the main number. Later in the week durable goods orders are expected to rebound but remain below pre-virus levels.

Thursday’s closely watched report on initial jobless claims will be the main event, as it provides the timeliest data on the economy’s health.

In corporate news, American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) Group announced that it is planning to secure $3.5 billion in new financing to enhance its liquidity position.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will also be in the spotlight as it hosts its Worldwide Developers Conference. It announced on Friday that it would temporarily shut 11 U.S. stores as the coronavirus cases rose, and was also hit with two antitrust probes by the EU last week.

Oil prices were largely unchanged Monday, helped by the news that the number of operating oil and natural gas rigs operating in Canada and the U.S. fell to a record low last week, but weighed by concerns that a record rise in global coronavirus cases could curb a recovery in fuel demand.

U.S. crude prices fell 0.4% to $39.68 a barrel, while Brent Futures dropped 0.3% to $42.08.

Elsewhere, gold futures rose 0.3% to $1,758.45/oz, while EUR/USD traded at 1.1212. up 0.3%.