Dow Futures Rise as August Draws to Close By

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By Noreen Burke – U.S. stock futures pointed to a modestly higher open on Wall Street on Monday, with markets on track to rack up their best August in more than 30 years.

At 7:15 AM ET (1215 GMT), the contract rose 47 points, or 0.1%. traded eight points, or 0.2%, higher, while were up 0.4%.

The gains came after the and the closed at all-time highs on Friday, with the S&P 500 looking set to record its strongest August performance in 34 years.

Last week marked the fifth consecutive weekly gain for the S&P and the Nasdaq, while the is now in positive territory year-to-date having erased its losses for 2020 on Friday.

The rally in stocks markets has been powered by massive monetary and fiscal stimulus in recent months, offsetting concerns over the outlook for a global economy which has been ravaged by the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

Optimism around developing vaccines and treatments for COVID-19 and robust demand for tech stocks have also boosted markets.

Last week Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell announced a shift to ‘average inflation targeting’ that could allow inflation to run above its 2% target. The shift has been broadly interpreted as locking in near-zero interest rates for as much as five years.

Several Fed officials are set to speak this week, kicking off with Vice Chair at 9 AM ET (1300 GMT). Atlanta Fed president is also due to speak at 10:30 AM ET.  The Dallas Fed’s monthly is due out at the same time.

Shares in Apple (NASDAQ:) and Tesla (NASDAQ:) gained ground in premarket trade ahead of their first official trading following stock splits aimed at making it less expensive for retail investors to own the shares.

Oil prices were higher on Monday with Brent hitting its highest levels in five months boosted by a reduction in Abu Dhabi crude supplies and encouraging Chinese economic data overnight.

futures traded 1.3% higher at $43.52 a barrel, while the international benchmark contract rose 1.4% to $46.45.

Elsewhere, were a touch lower at $1,972.3/oz, while traded 0.1% higher at 1.1926.

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