U.S. stock futures showed little change on Monday as the market kicked off a holiday-shortened week. Investors eagerly awaited key economic data that would serve as a guide to determine whether the strong gains witnessed in the first half of the year could continue.
As of 06:50 ET (10:50 GMT), the Dow Futures contract was down 15 points, or 0.1%. Conversely, S&P 500 Futures traded 4 points, or 0.1%, higher, while Nasdaq 100 Futures climbed 35 points, or 0.2%.
With an early closure at 13:00 ET on Monday in observance of the Independence Day holiday, U.S. stock markets were set to have a shortened trading week, as they would also remain closed on Tuesday.
Optimism Prevails Following Strong First Half
Wall Street has been infused with optimism, fueled by surprisingly robust U.S. economic data. There is a growing belief that the world’s largest economy can withstand the year-long monetary tightening without slipping into a recession.
This buoyant sentiment propelled all three main indices to post gains during the first half of 2023. The Nasdaq Composite emerged as the standout performer, experiencing its best first half since 1983. The surge in excitement over developments in artificial intelligence contributed to the Nasdaq’s impressive performance.
Data Deluge Awaits
This week promises a deluge of top-tier economic releases, with the U.S. employment report on Friday taking center stage.
Projections indicate that the economy likely added 225,000 jobs in June, signaling a slight slowdown from May’s impressive figure of 339,000 jobs. However, even with easing conditions, the expected number still points to a healthy labor market.
Prior to the release of the jobs report, the market will receive updates on other facets of the labor market, including private sector hiring data from ADP, JOLTS job openings, and weekly unemployment claims.
On Monday, the ISM Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index will provide the initial insight into factory activity in June.
Tesla’s Record Deliveries Shine
In corporate news, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) announced that it achieved record deliveries in the second quarter, totaling 466,140 vehicles. The surge in deliveries suggests that Elon Musk’s decision to reduce vehicle prices may be bolstering demand for the electric carmaker.
Compared to the same period last year, Tesla’s delivery figure represents an 83% increase, driving the company’s shares up by over 6% in premarket trading. Shareholders consider the delivery numbers as a key indicator of sales performance.
Oil Prices Rise as Saudi Arabia Extends Supply Cut
Oil prices experienced gains on Monday after Saudi Arabia decided to extend its recent supply cut through August. This move further tightened the market and overshadowed concerns about a global economic slowdown.
Saudi Arabia, the top oil exporter, announced that it would continue its voluntary reduction of one million barrels per day for another month, including August. The news helped propel U.S. crude futures 1% higher to $71.31 per barrel, while the Brent contract climbed 0.9% to $76.07.
Meanwhile, gold futures fell 0.5% to $1,920.35 per ounce, and EUR/USD traded 0.2% lower at 1.0892.
As the week unfolds, market participants will closely monitor economic indicators and corporate developments to gauge the trajectory of the market and make informed investment decisions in this short trading week.