Markets were slightly higher on Wall Street ahead of the bell Monday as investors prepare for another big slate of corporate earnings.
Futures for the Dow Jones industrials and futures for the S&P 500 were both up less than 0.2%.
Companies reporting quarterly earnings this week include Microsoft, Boeing, Tesla and Southwest Airlines.
Shares of Salesforce jumped nearly 5% in premarket after The Wall Street Journal reported that activist investor Elliott Management was taking a multi-billion dollar stake in the business software company that owns Slack.
Tech stocks led a rally Friday, countering worries about the weakening U.S. economy. Despite the strong finish Friday, Wall Street benchmarks still finished the week down for the first time this year.
Adjusting to a variety of factors, “Investors have become somewhat wary about the ongoing weakness in the economic data, and it is clear that they are no longer treating the bad news like good news,” Naeem Aslam of Avatrade.com said in a commentary.
“So going into this week which is full of firecrackers in terms of economic data and earnings, the focus will be if we are going to see the U.S. equity markets continue to march higher,” Aslam said.
Worries that the economy may not be able to avoid a scarring recession overhang the markets, though data showing inflation is cooling suggest the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes last year have begun to make their way through the system.
Shares were higher Monday in Europe and in Asia, where most markets were closed for the Lunar New Year holiday.
Germany’s DAX edged up 0.2%, as did the CAC 40 in Paris. Britain’s FTSE 100 added 0.4%.
In Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index added 1.3% to 26,906.04 as investors shrugged off Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki’s comments that Japan is facing an “unprecedentedly severe” financial situation after spending heavily to counter the pandemic and other troubles.
“Finances are the cornerstone of a country’s trust,” Suzuki told lawmakers in parliament. “We must secure fiscal space under normal circumstances to safeguard trust in Japan and people’s livelihoods in times of crisis.”
Japan’s national debt, already more than twice its gross domestic product, has grown further as the government has failed for a decade to attain its targets for balancing the budget.
Elsewhere in Asia, the S&P/ASX 200 in Sydney edged 0.1% higher, to 7,457.30. In India, the Sensex climbed 0.6% to 60,994.76. Bangkok’s SET index was flat. Markets in Shanghai and Shenzhen are shut for the whole week.
In other trading Monday, U.S. benchmark crude oil climbed 80 cents to $82.44 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained $1.03 to $81.64 per barrel on Friday.
Brent crude, the price benchmark for international trading, rose 92 cents to $88.55 per barrel.
The U.S. dollar rose to 130.23 Japanese yen from 129.59 yen. The euro was trading at $1.0974, up from $1.0868.
On Friday, the S&P 500 rose 1.9% to 3,972.61. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1% to 33,375.49. The Nasdaq added 2.7% to close at 11,140.43.
Small company stocks also notched solid gains. The Russell 2000 index advanced 1.7% to finish at 1,867.34.
Despite Friday’s gains, the S&P 500 finished the week 0.7% lower, while the Dow was down 2.7%.
Kurtenbach reported from Bangkok; Ott reported from Washington.