S&P 500 futures are moving lower in premarket trading as traders prepare to take some profits off the table ahead of the earnings season.
Big financial companies like JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs will provide their earnings reports this week, marking the beginning of the active phase of the new earnings season.
The stock market is trading at all-time high levels, and stocks may get an additional boost if the earnings season brings positive news. At the same time, some traders may prefer to wait for actual reports before increasing their exposure to stocks.
Strong Retail Sales Data From Europe Supports Markets
Today, EU reported that Euro Area Retail Sales increased by 3% month-over-month in February after falling by 5.2% in January. Analysts projected that Retail Sales would grow by 1.5% so the report was much better than expected.
The strong report provided some support to global markets as it indicated that consumer activity in Europe increased despite the challenging situation on the virus front.
WTI Oil Gains Ground After An Attack On Iran’s Nuclear Plant
Iran’s Natanz nuclear site has recently suffered an electricity outage which led to unspecified damage. On Monday, Iran blamed Israel for the attack on its plant but noted that the attack would not impact nuclear talks.
The recent nuclear talks went well which put some pressure on oil. If Iran starts to comply with the 2015 nuclear deal, Iranian oil will return back to the international markets and put pressure on oil prices.
In this light, an incident at the key Iranian nuclear site serves as a bullish catalyst for the market. Currently, WTI oil is trying to settle back above the psychologically important $60 level. In case this attempt is successful, WTI oil will gain additional upside momentum and move towards the recent highs at the $62 level which will be bullish for oil-related stocks.