Wall Street looks set to open the week on a positive note, following in the footsteps of European markets this morning. Also, recovery in oil prices could also drive bullishness in equities.
Oil rebound short-lived
During the early morning hours, S&P 500 Futures rose 0.30% to 2,071.23 while Nasdaq Futures inched up 0.26% to 4,540.12. The statement from several Federal Reserve officials will also be in the spotlight for the day.
Oil prices struggled to rebound from their four-week lows, but a fast recovery in the commodity is less likely. Iran has already reiterated that it will keep its production unchanged while Saudi Arabia has repeatedly equivocated about a production freeze.
Commentary from a handful of FOMC members will be in focus today. Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren is set to share his thoughts on the direction of monetary policy while Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari and Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan will voice their opinions about the future pace of rate hikes. From the economic data perspective, February factory orders data is set to be released later today.
Among other data revealed, the PayNet Small Business Lending Index rose to 138 in February from 117.7 in January, which was its lowest level in two years. PayNet President, Bill Phelan said that the pace of borrowing and investment has improved over the last month. However, he anticipates such growth to slow down during the coming months.
Around the world, markets in Asia closed on a mixed note as Japan’s Nikkei posted losses following the strengthening of the yen. There was a lack of any relevant key data to spur a clear direction in equities. Elsewhere, European markets opened the day higher as the rebound in oil prices to some extent lent support to stock prices.