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Wall Street poised for higher open as jobs optimism outweighs trade fears


U.S. stocks looks set to kick off the week on an upbeat note on Monday, continuing Friday’s payrolls-fueled rally.

Traders appeared to shrug off global trade tensions in early premarket action.

What are markets doing?

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average

YMM8, +0.60%

 climbed 134 points, or 0.5%, to 24,763, while those for the S&P 500 index

ESM8, +0.45%

 rose 10.95 points, or 0.4%, to 2,744.75. Futures for the Nasdaq-100 index

NQM8, +0.50%

 gained 34.25 points, or 0.5%, to 7,117.25.

The gains come on the heels of a strong session on Friday when the Dow

DJIA, +0.90%

 finished 0.9% higher, the Nasdaq Composite Index

COMP, +1.51%

 rose 1.5% and the S&P 500

SPX, +1.08%

 booked a 1.1% gain.

What is driving the market?

Investors continued to cheer a round of solid U.S. jobs data out on Friday, which showed the world’s largest economy in better economic health than expected. That helped spur a move back into riskier assets such as stocks, after political upheaval in Italy earlier last week sparked a flight into havens such as bonds.

The optimism over the american data also helped overshadow lingering concerns over global trade on Monday. A round of trade talks between the U.S. and China broke down over the weekend with no agreement, indicating a full-on trade war between the world’s two largest economies could be imminent.

Read: China warns U.S.: Trade agreements are off if tariffs are imposed

Meanwhile, finance ministers from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the U.K. at a G7 meeting on Saturday issued a rare rebuke to the U.S., expressing their “unanimous concern and disappointment” about President Donald Trump’s decision to place tariffs on metals imports from his major allies.

Tariffs and trade are also likely to feature highly on the agenda when leaders of the G7 nations — including the U.S. — hold talks in Canada on Friday and Saturday.

What are strategists saying?

“Markets remain surprisingly sanguine despite trade war fears ramping up,” said Jasper Lawler, head of research at London Capital Group, in a note.

“There remains a certain level of optimism that this aggressive posture from Trump is a positioning that will quickly blow over, rather than result in the actual application of U.S. tariffs and the application of threatened retaliatory measures from the targeted countries,” he added.

“With a slow down in high-impacting economic data this week, trade developments are expected to remain a central topic for traders. Signs of the latest threats being more serious than a negotiating tactic could see traders take risk off the table quickly; however, until then continued trader indifference could be on the cards,” Lawler said.

What’s on the economic calendar?

On a quiet day for economic news, only factory orders for April due at 10 a.m. Eastern Time are on the calendar.

There will be no Federal Reserve speeches as the central bank is in its so-called blackout period ahead of its June 12-13 meeting.

See: MarketWatch’s economic calendar

Which stocks are in focus?

Shares of Microsoft Corp.

MSFT, +1.97%

 rose 0.8% ahead of the bell after reports the software giant has agreed to buy software-developer platform GitHub.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc.

AMD, +4.88%

 rose 1.5% premarket, after surging 4.9% to end at a 10-month high on Friday following a favorable analyst note.

What are other markets doing?

Asian stocks closed mostly higher, as traders there got their first chance to react to the upbeat U.S. jobs data from Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index

NIK, +1.37%

 ended 1.4% higher, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index

HSI, +1.66%

 climbed 1.6%.

Europe also opened with firm gains, setting the Stoxx Europe 600 index

SXXP, +0.55%

 on track for its highest close since May 25.

Crude oil prices

CLN8, -0.08%

 were slightly higher, while gold

GCQ8, -0.11%

 inched lower. The ICE U.S. Dollar Index

DXY, -0.45%

 fell 0.3% to 93.906.

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June 4, 2018

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