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U.S. stock-index futures rallied on Monday after a steep selloff at the end of last week as traders eyed bargains and awaited a key report on the American manufacturing sector.
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As of 8:03 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures jumped 82 points to 15183, S&P 500 futures advanced 7 points to 1636 and Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 12.3 points to 2993.
The markets ended what was a strong month on a dour note last week. The S&P 500 took its biggest drop in more than a month Friday, but still rose 2.1% for May in its seventh-straight monthly advance.
The Federal Reserve's plans to exit its massive bond-buying operation, dubbed QE3, has remained a major focus on Wall Street. The markets are expected to stay fixated on the central bank as several key reports are released on the U.S. economy, capped with the all-important monthly jobs report on Friday.
"Everything investors do this week will be conducted in the shadow of [the May jobs report], as they try to pre-empt the next move from the world’s most powerful central bank," Chris Beauchamp, a market analyst at IG wrote in an e-mail.
The markets will get a reading on the U.S. manufacturing sector at 10:00 a.m. ET. The Institute for Supply Management's PMI gauge is forecast to have ticked slightly lower to 50.5 in May from 50.7 the month before. Readings above 50 point to expansion, while those below indicate contraction.
PMI readings out of China painted a mixed picture for the world's No. 2 economy. The official data showed a shallow increase in the rate at which the manufacturing sector expanded in May, rising to 50.8 from 50.6. However, a separate survey from HSBC showed the sector contracting for the first time in seven months, falling to 49.2 in May from 50.4 in April.
A report from Markit showing the eurozone manufacturing sector deteriorated at the slowest pace in 15 months helped balance out that report. The metric jumped to 48.3 from 46.7. Germany, France and Italy -- the bloc's three biggest economies -- all saw improvements as well.
"Although the euro area manufacturing economy continued to contract in May, it is reassuring to see the rate of decline ease to such a marked extent," Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit wrote in the report. "The sector still seems some way off stabilising, however, and therefore remains a drag on the economy."
In commodities markets, oil and gasoline futures were in the green. The benchmark U.S. crude oil contract climbed 69 cents, or 0.75%, to $92.65 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline rallied 1.6% to $2.799 a gallon. Gold advanced $3.80, or 0.27%, to $1,397 a troy ounce.
On the corporate front, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will face the U.S. Justice Department in court amid allegation the tech titan conspired to fix e-book pricing. The big automakers are set to report their monthly sales figures on the day.
The Euro Stoxx 50 rose 0.64% to 2787, the English FTSE 100 dipped 0.11% to 6576 and the German DAX climbed 0.51% to 8391.
In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 plunged 3.7% to 13262 and the Chinese Hang Seng tilted lower by 0.49% to 22282.