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 27 points to 22,272, while those for S&P 500 futures dropped 4 points. pr 0.2%, to 2,495. Nasdaq-100 futures fell 28 points, or 0.5%, to 5,908.

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. Fischer is set to step down from his post next month.

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New York Fed President William Dudley (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/feds-dudley-says-import-prices-will-help-boost-inflation-2017-09-25), on Monday, said that firmer import prices as well as the fading effect from a number of "temporary, idiosyncratic" factors will boost inflation over the next year or so and stabilize at around Fed's 2% target. "In response, the Fed will likely continue to remove monetary policy accommodation," Dudley said.

Need to know:'Group stink' is as strong now as it was in 2000 and 2007, says fund manager (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/warning-group-stink-is-as-strong-now-as-it-was-in-2000-and-2007-says-fund-manager-2017-09-25)

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 dropped to -0.31 from 0.03 in July.

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 spoke and took questions in Syracuse, N.Y.

After that, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans will make a speech on the economy in Grand Rapids, Mich., 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, N.D., at 6:30 p.m. Eastern.

Stocks to watch: Shares of Genuine Parts Co.(GPC) rose 10% in premarket trade after the automotive replacement parts company announced a deal to buy European auto parts (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/genuine-parts-stock-gains-after-deal-2-billion-deal-to-buy-alliance-automotive-2017-09-25) distributor Alliance Automotive Group for $2 billion (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/genuine-parts-stock-gains-after-deal-2-billion-deal-to-buy-alliance-automotive-2017-09-25).

D.R. Horton Inc.(DHI) shares slid 3.7% in premarket after the home builder cut expectations for guidance (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dr-hortons-stock-drops-after-guidance-cuts-in-wake-of-hurricanes-2017-09-25), citing delays caused by recent hurricanes.

Shares of Quest Diagnostics Inc.(DGX) dropped in thin premarket trade after Raymond James analysts downgraded the stock to perform from outperform.

PulteGroup, Inc.(PHM) shares jumped on Monday after it was selected as a component of the 2017 Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI).

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 were slightly lower. Brent oil prices rallied amid a growing market consensus (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/brent-oil-rallies-as-hopes-grow-opec-will-extend-output-deal-2017-09-25) that OPEC will likely extend its production-cut deal.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 25, 2017 09:13 ET (13:13 GMT)