U.S. Futures Edge Higher; Banks to Lead Earnings Season

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Investing.com – U.S. stocks are seen opening slightly higher Monday, continuing the recent positive tone as investors remain focused on the possibility of new stimulus – albeit possibly after the election – as the new earnings season approaches

At 7 AM ET (1100 GMT),S&P 500 Futures traded 15 points, or 0.5%, higher, the Dow Futures contract rose 19 points, or 0.1%, while Nasdaq 100 Futures climbed 157 points, or 1.3%.

These cash stock indices are coming off a three-day win streak, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average, for example, turning positive year-to-date for the first time since Sept. 2.

President Donald Trump on Sunday called on Congress to pass a scaled down coronavirus relief package, suggesting the redirecting of unused funding from a small-business lifeline to help the likes of the airlines. This comes after Senate Republicans as well as House Democrats objected to the new comprehensive offer from his administration over the weekend.

This piecemeal approach is unlikely to gain traction. But opinion polls point to a Democratic sweep in the November elections, and this is giving markets confidence that stimulus will be forthcoming at some point, if not immediately.

The U.S. corporate earnings season gets underway this week. After second-quarter earnings results came in better than expected, there are some relatively positive forecasts for this next quarter.

The big banks will lead the way, with JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) and Citigroup (NYSE:C) both due to release results on Tuesday, followed by Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) later in the week. Key here will be whether the banks continue to rack up loan loss provisions at the same pace as in July.

Also in the corporate sector, the tech sector will be in focus following a report in the Financial Times that European Union regulators are drawing up a list of up to 20 large internet companies, likely to include the U.S. tech giants, that will face new and tougher rules aimed at curbing their market power.

This is likely to be a big week for the tech sector, with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) expected to launch its 5G iPhone 12 on Tuesday and Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Prime Day occurring on Oct. 13-14. 

Oil prices weakened Monday as supply risks subsided. Output was restored in Norway, the world’s third largest exporter of oil and gas, with the end of a strike. Production is expected to resume shortly at Libya’s biggest oilfield, while U.S. producers have also begun pumping again after Hurricane Delta moved inland at reduced intesity.

U.S. crude futures traded 1.3% lower at $40.09 a barrel, while the international benchmark Brent contract fell 1.1% to $42.38. Both contracts gained more than 9% last week.

Elsewhere, gold futures fell 0.1% to $1,925.25/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.3% lower at 1.1795.

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