Futures Pointing to Initial Strength on Wall Street

By Investors Hub

The major US index futures are pointing to a higher opening on Monday following the mixed performance seen last Friday.

Trading activity may be somewhat subdued as the markets are scheduled to close at 1 pm ET ahead of the July 4th holiday.

After seeing modest strength for much of the session, the major averages gave back ground going into the close of trading on Friday. The tech-heavy Nasdaq pulled back into negative territory, while the Dow and the S&P 500 remained positive.

While the Nasdaq edged down 3.93 points or 0.1 percent to 6,140.42, the Dow rose 62.60 points or 0.3 percent to 21,349.63 and the S&P 500 crept up 3.71 points or 0.2 percent to 2,423.41.

For the week, the Nasdaq tumbled by 2 percent, the S&P 500 fell by 0.6 percent and the Dow dipped by 0.2 percent.

The mixed close on Wall Street came after the major averages showed wild swings back and forth over the past few sessions.

The Dow benefited from a sharp increase by shares of Nike (NKE), with the athletic apparel and footwear maker surging up by 11 percent.

The jump by Nike came after the company reported fiscal fourth quarter results that exceeded analyst estimates on both the top and bottom lines.

In U.S. economic news, the Commerce Department released a report showing that personal income rose by slightly more than anticipated in the month of May, while personal spending inched up in line with estimates.

The Commerce Department said personal income climbed by 0.4 percent in May after rising by a downwardly revised 0.3 percent in April. Economists had expected income to rise by 0.3 percent.

Meanwhile, the report said personal spending inched up by 0.1 percent in May after climbing by 0.4 percent in April. The uptick in spending matched economist estimates.

A separate report from MNI Indicators showed an unexpected acceleration in the pace of growth in Chicago-area business activity in the month of June.

MNI Indicators said its Chicago business barometer jumped to 65.7 in June from 59.4 in May, with a reading above 50 indicating growth in activity. The barometer climbed to its highest level in over three years.

The notable increase came as a surprise to economists, who had expected the business barometer to edge down to 58.0.

The University of Michigan also released a report showing that consumer sentiment decreased by less than initially estimated in June.

The report said the consumer sentiment index for June was upwardly revised to 95.1 from the preliminary reading of 94.5. Economists had expected the index to be unrevised.

Despite the upward revision, the consumer sentiment index for June was still down from the final May reading of 97.1.

Railroad stocks moved significantly higher over the course of the trading session, driving the Dow Jones Railroads Index up by 1.3 percent.

Kansas City Southern (KSU) and Norfolk Southern (NSC) turned in two of the railroad sector’s best performances on the day.

Considerable strength was also visible among steel stocks, as reflected by the 1.2 percent gain posted by the NYSE Arca Steel Index. The index climbed to a two-month closing high.

Housing, trucking, and chemical stocks also saw strength on the day, while notable weakness was visible among electronic storage stocks.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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