Nasdaq Futures Up 114 Points; Tech Earnings in View

U.S. stocks are seen trading in a mixed fashion Monday, with the tech sector in focus ahead of a busy week of corporate earnings and a Federal Reserve meeting.

At 7:05 AM ET (1205 GMT), the Dow Futures contract was down 41 points, or 0.1%, but S&P 500 Futures traded 8 points, or 0.2%, higher, and Nasdaq 100 Futures climbed 114 points, or 0.9%.

This week is the busiest of the corporate season to date, with more than one-fifth of the S&P 500 index and a third of Dow Jones Industrial Average components scheduled to release earnings this week. The tech sector will be the primary focus, and expectations are running high.

Microsoft reports after the close on Tuesday, followed by Apple, Facebook and Tesla, a day later. The results could push the combined market cap of the FAANGs – Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google-parent Alphabet – back above their all-time peak of $6.16 trillion.

Monday is comparatively quiet, with only Kimberly Clark (NYSE:KMB) of any note set to update.

All three main cash indices posted a gain for the week last week, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average registered its fifth positive week in six while the S&P 500 posted its third positive week in four. The Nasdaq Composite recorded its best week since November and fifth positive week in six.

One of the key drivers of these gains have been the idea that a Democrat sweep of Congress (and the White House) would lead to additional fiscal stimulus. Investors are still confident that President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief proposal will get through, to a large degree, despite opposition from some Republican lawmakers and the formal start of Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial.

The number of coronavirus cases in the United States has crossed 25 million, with approaching 420,000 fatalities, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

However, despite these numbers, there has been some positive virus-related news. The U.S. has administered over 20.5 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as of Saturday morning, while the hard-hit state of California is expected to lift its stay-at-home orders later Monday.

Also of note this week will be the latest get together of the Federal Reserve, with the two-day meeting set to conclude on Wednesday. The central bank is not expected to make any policy changes, and is likely to reiterate that the economy is still far from its goals of full employment and 2% inflation.

Oil prices edged higher Monday, rebounding from Friday’s losses on the back of a surprise rise in U.S. inventories by 4.4 million barrels in the week to Jan. 15, versus expectations for a small draw.

U.S. crude futures traded 0.1% higher at $52.31 a barrel, while the international benchmark Brent contract rose 0.1% to $55.33.

Elsewhere, gold futures rose 0.3% to $1,860.90/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% lower at 1.2154.

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