By Peter Nurse
Investing.com – U.S. stocks are seen opening higher Monday, starting the new month on a positive note as investors gear up for a week that includes a deluge of corporate earnings, a Federal Reserve meeting and the official U.S. jobs report.
At 7:10 AM ET (1110 GMT), the Dow Futures contract was up 180 points, or 0.5%, S&P 500 Futures traded 20 points, or 0.5%, higher, while Nasdaq 100 Futures climbed 70 points, or 0.4%.
The three major indices all closed at record highs on Friday, with the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average rising 5.8% in October, the broad-based S&P 500 up 6.9% and the technology-focused Nasdaq Composite 7.3% higher.
Solid earnings have been behind these strong gains, and while many of the top names have now reported, a wider swath of companies is scheduled to release numbers this week.
Away from earnings, Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) will be in the spotlight following a report in the Wall Street Journal saying that the soft drinks giant is taking full control of sport drink-maker BodyArmor. American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) will also be in focus after weather and tight staffing rosters disrupted its weekend flying schedule, while gaming platform Roblox (NYSE:RBLX) was hit by a lengthy outage over the weekend.
That said, most eyes this week will be on the two-day policy meeting of the Federal Reserve, concluding on Wednesday, which is widely expected to result in the start of the tapering of its bond purchases. The gathering could also provide clues about when the central bank will increase interest rates, with the market now looking for the first hike in the summer of 2022.
The economic calendar is largely empty Monday, but the other big event for the week will be October’s official employment report on Friday, which is expected to show a sharp improvement in hiring to 413,000 payrolls following the previous month’s disappointing 194,000 release.
Crude prices gained Monday even after China, the world’s second largest consumer, announced it had released gasoline and diesel from its fuel reserves, easing concerns about the tight nature of the global supply.
This week also sees the latest meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies including Russia, a group called OPEC+. These top producers are expected to stick to their plan to add 400,000 barrels per day of supply in December when they get together on Thursday.
By 7:10 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded 0.5% higher at $84.00 a barrel, while the Brent contract rose 0.8% to $84.42.
Additionally, gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,785.85/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% higher at 1.1570.