U.S. stock futures traded in a subdued fashion Monday, at the start of a holiday-shortened week that includes the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting as well as earnings from new tech favorite Nvidia.
By 06:30 ET (11:30 GMT), the Dow Futures contract was largely flat, S&P 500 Futures traded unchanged, while Nasdaq 100 Futures climbed 17 points, or 0.1%.
The main indices on Wall Street posted healthy gains last week, after cooler-than-expected inflation data raised hopes that the Federal Reserve was at the end of its prolonged rate-hiking cycle.
The S&P 500 gained 2.2% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.9%, both averages gaining for the third week in a row, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite climbed 2.4%, posting its best week since June.
Fed minutes loom large
With the focus very much on what the policymakers at the U.S. central bank are going to do next with interest rates, the minutes from its Oct. 31-Nov. 1 meeting on Tuesday, a day earlier than usual, due to this week’s Thanksgiving holiday, will be in the spotlight.
Traders have nearly fully priced in the likelihood that the Fed will keep interest rates unchanged in December, with odds increasing that the next move will be a cut, likely by the start of summer next year.
Nvidia’s earnings in focus
The quarterly corporate earnings season has largely run its course, but there is still one more of the Magnificent Seven megacap companies, whose massive share gains this year have led equity indexes higher, left to report.
Chip designer Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) is due on Tuesday, and its results will be followed closely given it has become a focal point of this year’s surge in enthusiasm over generative artificial intelligence.
Elsewhere, U.S. retailers are gearing up for Black Friday, marking the start of the crucial holiday shopping season that follows Thanksgiving, while Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) decision to employ Sam Altman to lead a new advanced artificial intelligence research team, just days after he was forced out as CEO of OpenAI, has been received positively.
Oil rises on hopes of further output cuts
Oil prices rose Monday, extending recent gains following reports that a group of major producers may discuss deeper output cuts when they meet later this month.
By 06:30 ET, the U.S. crude futures traded 1.6% higher at $77.27 a barrel, while the Brent contract climbed 1.7% to $81.97 a barrel.
Crude gained 4% on Friday and has continued to rise Monday after Reuters reported, citing sources, that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies, a group known as OPEC+, is set to consider whether to make additional oil supply cuts to shore up prices when it meets on Nov. 26.
OPEC+ has already pledged total oil output cuts of 5.16 million barrels per day, or about 5% of daily global demand, in a series of steps that started in late 2022.
Additionally, gold futures fell 0.4% to $1,977.15/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.2% higher at 1.0924.