MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stocks Set To Struggle, As Investors Look For Guidance From Fed Speakers

By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Dollar strengthening across the board

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U.S. stock futures pointed to a struggle for Wall Street on Monday, with the dollar rising and investors expected to look for guidance from a heavy calendar of Federal Reserve speakers this week.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures slipped 9 points to 22,290, while those for S&P 500 futures dropped 1.65 points to 2,497.75. Nasdaq-100 futures fell 5.25 points to 5,930.50.

Major indexes finished on a mixed note last week (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-stock-futures-fall-after-north-korean-nuclear-bomb-threat-2017-09-22), as investors tried to shake off continuing geopolitical tensions linked to North Korea. The Dow industrials gained 0.4%, posting a second weekly advance. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 added just 0.1%, and the Nasdaq Composite Index finished the week 0.3% lower.

Read:A rising share of Wall Street CFOs think this stock market is 'bubblicious' (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/a-rising-share-of-wall-street-cfos-think-this-stock-market-is-bubblicious-2017-09-22)

Investors are likely to focus on looking for more monetary policy clues from the Fed, which last week announced it will begin to unwind its massive balance sheet in October. A busy lineup of speakers this week features the central bank's chairwoman, Janet Yellen, on Tuesday and Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer on Thursday.

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At the same time, there are plenty of data releases on tap this week, including durable goods and consumer spending. On Monday, the Chicago Fed national activity index for August is due at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time.

The dollar was strengthening across the board. Notably, it was gaining against the euro , which was under pressure after a heavy drop in support for mainstream parties in Germany's general election (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/germanys-anti-immigrant-party-set-to-be-first-in-more-than-50-years-to-enter-parliament-2017-09-24) on Sunday left the way forward for German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative alliance in doubt.

See:How Merkel's choice of partner could set the tone for the euro (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dont-call-the-german-election-boring-it-could-mean-a-huge-shift-for-the-eurozone-2017-09-18)

Fed speakers: Monday's lineup includes New York Fed President William Dudley, who will speak and take questions in Syracuse, New York, starting at 8:30 a.m. Eastern, ahead of the market open.

After that, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans will make a speech on the economy in Grand Rapids, Michigan at 12:40 p.m. Eastern. Later, Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari will have a question-and-answer session at an event in Grand Forks, North Dakota at 6:30 p.m. Eastern.

Stocks to watch: Shares of General Electric Co.(GE) could be in focus after the company agreed to sell its industrial-solutions unit (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ge-to-sell-industrial-unit-to-abb-for-26-bln-2017-09-25) to Switzerland's ABB Ltd. (ABBN.EB)(ABBN.EB) for $2.6 billion.

U.S.-listed shares of Unilever PLC(UNA.AE) (ULVR.LN) (ULVR.LN) could be active. The consumer-goods company has agreed to buy Carver Korea (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/unilever-to-buy-korean-beauty-company-for-27-bln-2017-09-25), a Seoul-based skincare company, for $2.7 billion. Unilever's London-listed shares slipped.

Other markets: European stocks were logging cautious gains (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-chip-out-small-gain-on-concerns-over-german-election-2017-09-25) amid some concerns over how long it will take for German parties to negotiate a new governing coalition. In Asia, the Nikkei bucked a weaker trend for stocks (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/stocks-in-japan-australia-outpace-lagging-asian-markets-2017-09-24) elsewhere in the region with a 0.5% gain, driven by yen weakness.

Elsewhere in politics, Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday called a snap general election (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/japans-leader-abe-calls-an-early-general-election-2017-09-25)in a bid to consolidate power amid a struggle to resolve a crisis with North Korea, according to media reports. Abe said he'll dissolve parliament on Thursday Sept. 28, but gave no date for the election.

Gold prices drifted south, while WTI crude prices dipped and Brent oil shifted higher.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 25, 2017 06:25 ET (10:25 GMT)