Equity futures are mostly higher after positive Monday morning data and post-Friday’s speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, whose comments on the U.S. economy were positive and indicated that interest rate hikes are a possibility.
The September contract in S&P E-Mini futures was up .42 percent at 2,177.50 on Monday. Meanwhile, Dow E-Mini futures for the same contract month were up .47 percent at 18,466, and September Nasdaq E-Mini futures up .17 percent at 4,793.75.
Yellen said the Fed already thinks it is close to meeting its goals of maximum employment and stable prices. She described consumer spending as “solid” but noted that U.S. business investment was weak and exports hurt by a strong dollar. Comments by the Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer, which followed Yellen’s speech, also boosted the case for a hike this year.
Monday’s economic data in the U.S. is the beginning of a full week of reports. Personal Spending for July rose 0.4 percent, in line with expectations and a fourth straight month of increases, largely led by demand for autos, rising home values and stock market prices, which are boosting household wealth, are also supporting consumption. Personal Income for the same month increased 0.4 percent in July after rising 0.3 percent in June, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Tuesday brings Consumer Confidence for August and the Case-Shiller 20-City Index for June, while on Wednesday, the Chicago Purchasing Manager’s Index for August is released. The ADP Employment Change for August is also due as well as Pending Home Sales for July and Weekly Crude Inventories. Thursday brings a number of reports, including Second Quarter Productivity, July Construction Spending, Weekly Unemployment Claims, and the Institute for Supply Management Index for August. August Auto and Truck Sales are also due.
The week ends with the August Employment Report, which is expected to show continued strength. In July, 250,000 positions were added to the economy, which was much higher than economists’ expectations. The Trade Balance and Factory Orders for July are also released.