Monday January 11th

11-01-2016

Dow futures add 100 as Street tries to shake off China pressure

U.S. stock index futures indicated a higher open Monday, as European equities gained despite turmoil in Chinese stocks. Dow futures added 100 points in pre-market trade after initially indicating a lower open. Oil pared losses. Shares of Apple held about 1.5 percent higher in pre-market trade, after news the firm's Apple Music service surpassed 10 million subscribers. Separately, Mizuho upgraded the stock to "buy" from "neutral." China's Shanghai composite closed down more than 5 percent and the Shenzhen composite closed ended 6.6 percent lower on Monday. This came as the People's Bank of China raised the midpoint fix for the yuan against the U.S. dollar to 6.5626. Last week, the Shanghai composite fell by nearly 10 percent in five days and trade in Chinese markets was halted twice by circuit breakers, in an attempt to quell the selloff. The turmoil spilled over to global markets, with the major U.S. indexes losing around six percent or more during the week, with the S&P 500 and Dow Jones industrial average posting their worst start to a year in history. "Investors continue to fret over a number of issues facing investors in Chinese stocks," Simon Smith, chief economist at FxPro, said in a research note on Monday. "Asian economies are slowing, in particular China, as evidenced once again over the weekend and it is how the authorities go about dealing with this that is spooking the markets. While they may have plenty of tools at their disposal, they are faced with a two pronged problem of pursuing both economic and market reform agendas," he added. Wall Street fell on the day on Friday, despite the nonfarm payrolls report for December coming in stronger than forecast. The unemployment rate averaged 5.0 percent and 292,000 jobs were created outside of the agricultural sector during the month. After last week's flurry of top tier economic data, the highlight this week will be Friday's release of retail sales and industrial production figures in December. There will also be the preliminary reading of the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment survey for January. No major economic data are scheduled for Monday, however. Eleven S&P-listed companies and two Dow components are set to report this week, with earnings ramping up the following week. The main report of interest on Monday is Alcoa, which will host an earnings conference call at 5 p.m. ET. Crude oil prices traded below $33 per barrel once again on Monday. "Crude and Brent oil had a very rocky and wild start for this year, similar to the equity market, and the confidence in the commodity space is still far away from forming any kind of solid foundation. There is a strong possibility that we break below the 30 dollar mark and the price could be trading between $25 and $30," Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at AvaTrade, said in a note. Gold retreated on Monday as the dollar rose versus the euro, but was still around a nine-week high as pressure on Asian stock markets continued to support investors' flight to safety. Spot gold was down 0.28 percent at $1,100.66 an ounce, while gold futures gained 0.25 percent to trade at $1,100.90.