Futures Pointing To Initial Strength On Wall Street

Stocks may move to the upside in early trading on Monday, regaining ground following the notable pullback seen last week. The major index futures are currently pointing to a higher open for the markets, with the S&P 500 futures up by 0.5 percent.

Easing concerns about the outlook for interest rates may contribute to strength on Wall Street, helping stocks add to the modest gains posted last Friday.

A report from the Wall Street Journal suggesting a shift in Federal Reserve officials’ stance on rates may generate some buying interest.

Fed insider Nick Timiraos said the central bank is likely to pause its recent series of rate hikes next week then take a “harder look at whether more are needed.”

While Timiraos said some Fed officials to still prefer to err on the side of raising rates too much, other see risks as more balanced and worry about unnecessarily causing a downturn or triggering financial turmoil.

Later this week, the Labor Department’s report on consumer price inflation in August could have a significant impact on the outlook for rates.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq may receive a boost from a surge by shares of Tesla (TSLA), with the electric car maker jumping by 6.4 percent in pre-market trading after Morgan Stanley upgraded its rating on the company’s stock to Overweight from Equal-Weight.

After an early move to the upside, stocks gave back ground over the course of the trading session on Friday but managed to close modestly higher. The uptick on the day came on the heels of the downward trend seen over the past few sessions.

The major averages edged higher going into the close of trading. The Dow rose 75.86 points or 0.2 percent to 34,576.59, the Nasdaq inched up 12.69 points or 0.1 percent to 13,761.53 and the S&P 500 crept up 6.35 points or 0.1 percent to 4,457.49.

Despite the uptick on the week, the major averages closed notably lower for the week. The Nasdaq tumbled by 1.9 percent, the S&P 500 slumped by 1.3 percent and the Dow slid by 0.8 percent.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index fell by 0.4 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index advanced by 0.8 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index has crept up by 0.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index are both up by 0.4 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are falling $0.48 to $87.03 a barrel after climbing $0.64 to $87.51 a barrel last Friday. Meanwhile, after inching up $0.20 to $1,942.70 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are rising $6 to $1,948.70 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 146.34 yen versus the 147.83 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Friday. Against the euro, the dollar is trading at $1.0724 compared to last Friday’s $1.0700.

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