Monday June 28th


Stock futures are little changed as the S&P 500 looks to hold on to record

U.S. stock index futures were little changed Monday after the S&P 500 notched its best week since February, as well as a new record, on Friday. Futures tied to the S&P 500 hovered around the flatline and those linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 13 points. Nasdaq 100 futures traded up by 0.3%. A massive, bipartisan infrastructure deal appeared revitalized as of Sunday evening after President Joe Biden clarified on Saturday that he doesn’t plan to veto the legislation if it comes without a separate reconciliation bill favored by Democrats. Republican  senators then said on Sunday that the deal can move forward. The president, flanked by a bipartisan group of senators, declared on Thursday that the group had reached a multibillion-dollar deal to improve the nation’s roads, bridges, waterways and broadband after weeks of negotiation. Democrats have been pushing for a second bill that would include funding for issues like climate change, child care, health care and education. Caterpillar shares were higher in premarket trading, set to add to their gains last week. “The bipartisan infrastructure agreement hammered out in Washington DC last week appears to stand some chance of becoming a reality,” wrote John Stoltzfus, chief investment strategist at Oppenheimer Asset Management, in a note. “This program could serve the country near and longer term in generating job creation, boost economic growth, underpin corporate revenue and earnings growth and increase the ability of the US to compete with other nations in the still relatively new but hypercompetitive 21st Century.” Monday’s moves came as Treasury yields retreated across most maturities, with the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield sliding to about 1.51%. Yields move inverse of prices. Stocks posted their best week in months on Friday as investors are growing more confident the current inflation in the U.S. is not a sustained economic threat, but a temporary uptick. The S&P 500 ended Friday at a closing record high of 4,280.70, while the Dow rose 237.02 points and sits less than 2% from its record. While the Nasdaq Composite closed just lower on Friday, it added 2.35% for the week, its best since April 9 and is up 4.45% for the month of June. The weekly gains came even after the Commerce Department reported that its inflation indicator rose 3.4% in May, the fastest increase since the early 1990s. Spikes in the core personal consumption expenditures price index can cause heartburn for investors since the Federal Reserve likes to watch it for signs of inflation. Still, the rise actually undershot what economists polled by Dow Jones had forecast and reinforced for investors that the economy-wide price increases are likely to be transient and manageable. The next major piece of economic data is the June jobs report, which the Labor Department is scheduled to publish on Friday. Economists are expecting that nonfarm payrolls increased by 683,000 in June. While such a robust reading would top the 559,000 in May, it would still be below the 1 million some had hoped a recovering U.S. economy could post as it emerged from the Covid-19 crisis. Investors will also pore over the June report for any signs of wage inflation as employers struggle to find workers to fill job openings and pandemic-era jobless benefits taper off in some states. Stocks in Asia-Pacific were muted on Monday, as Hong Kong saw a shorter trading day following a morning pause due to severe weather conditions. The Hang Seng index slipped fractionally on Monday to 29,268.30. Trading in Hong Kong’s markets resumed Monday afternoon in the city after an earlier severe weather warning was lowered. Mainland Chinese stocks closed mixed, with the Shanghai composite mildly lower at 3.606.37 while the Shenzhen component gained 0.975% to 15,150.17.  Elsewhere, the Nikkei 225 in Japan slipped fractionally to finish the trading day at 29,048.02 while the Topix index gained 0.15% to close at 1,965.67. South Korea’s Kospi closed little changed at 3,301.89. Oil prices hit and then recoiled from highs last seen in October 2018 on Monday as investors eyed the outcome of this week’s OPEC+ as the United States and Iran wrangle over the revival of a nuclear deal, delaying a surge in Iranian oil exports. Brent crude for August had slipped 19 cents, or 0.25%, to $75.99 a barrel while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for August was at $73.93 a barrel, down 12 cents, or 0.2%. Gold eased on Monday as a firm dollar weighed, although bullion traded in a tight range as investors remained on the sidelines given the U.S. Federal Reserve’s mixed signals on policy tightening. Spot gold was 0.2% lower at $1,775.64 per ounce by 1215 GMT. U.S. gold futures were down 0.1% at $1,775.70.