U.S. Stocks May Move To The Downside Amid Unrest In China

After turning in a mixed performance during last Friday’s shortened session, stocks are likely to move to the downside in early trading on Monday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a lower open for the markets, with the S&P 500 futures down by 0.7 percent.

Concerns about the latest developments in China are likely to weigh on Wall Street, as widespread protests against the Beijing’s zero-Covid policy broke out over the weekend.

A recent surge in new Covid cases in China has led officials to impose new restrictions in several major cities, dashing hopes the world’s second-largest economy was on the way toward easing curbs.

Trading activity may remain somewhat subdued, however, with a lack of major U.S. economic data likely to keep some traders on the sidelines.

Traders may be reluctant to make significant moves as they look ahead to the release of the closely watched monthly jobs report on Friday.

Reports on consumer confidence, personal income and spending and manufacturing activity are also likely to attract attention in the coming days along with remarks by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.

With trading activity remaining subdued following the Thanksgiving Day holiday on Thursday, stocks turned in a lackluster performance during trading on Friday. Despite the choppy trading, the Dow ended the session at a new seven-month closing high.

The major averages eventually finished the shortened session mixed. While the Dow climbed 152.97 points or 0.5 percent to 34,347.03, the S&P 500 edged down 1.14 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 4,026.12 and the Nasdaq slid 58.36 points or 0.5 percent to 11,226.36.

For the holiday-interrupted week, the Dow surged by 1.8 percent, the S&P 500 jumped by 1.5 percent and the Nasdaq advanced by 0.7 percent.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index fell by 0.4 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index slumped by 0.8 percent.

The major European markets have also moved to the downside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index has slid by 0.5 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is down by 0.9 percent and the German DAX Index is down by 1.0 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are plunging $2.09 to $74.19 a barrel after tumbling $1.66 to $76.28 a barrel last Friday. Meanwhile, after climbing $8.40 to $1,754 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are edging down $0.10 to $1,753.90 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 138.50 yen versus the 139.19 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Friday. Against the euro, the dollar is trading at $1.0450 compared to last Friday’s $1.0395.

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