U.S. Stocks May Move To The Upside In Early Trading

Stocks are likely to move to the upside in early trading on Monday, adding to the strong gains posted last year. The major index futures are currently pointing to a higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 135 points.

The markets may continue to benefit from recent upward momentum, which has lifted the Dow and the S&P 500 to new record highs.

Optimism the global economy will weather the storm posed by the Omicron variant of the coronavirus may contribute to continued strength on Wall Street.

Trading activity may be somewhat subdued on the first trading day of 2022, however, as some traders remain away from their desks following the New Year’s weekend.

Shortly after the start of trading, the Commerce Department is scheduled to release a report on construction spending in the month of November. Construction spending is expected to increase by 0.6 percent.

Stocks turned in a lackluster performance for much of the trading day on Friday before coming under pressure going into the close. Despite the late-day pullback on the final trading session of the year, 2021 still turned out to be a particularly strong year for the markets.

The major averages all finished the day in negative territory. The Dow edged down 59.78 points or 0.2 percent to 36,338.30, the Nasdaq slid 96.59 points or 0.6 percent at 15,644.97 and the S&P 500 dipped 12.55 points or 0.3 percent to 4,766.18.

For the year, the S&P 500 spiked by 26.9 percent, while the Nasdaq and the Dow soared by 21.4 percent and 18.7 percent, respectively. The major averages all moved higher for the third straight year.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance on Monday, with several major markets closed for holidays. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slid by 0.5 percent, while South Korea’s Kospi rose by 0.4 percent.

Meanwhile, European stocks have moved mostly higher on the day. The French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index are both jumping by 1.1 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are falling $0.46 to $74.75 a barrel after plunging $1.78 to $75.21 a barrel last Friday. Meanwhile, after climbing $14.50 to $1,828.60 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are sliding $13.60 to $1,815 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 115.04 yen versus the 115.08 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Friday. Against the euro, the dollar is trading at $1.1361 compared to last Friday’s $1.1370.

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