Stock market today: US futures tick up as traders assess risk of escalation in the Middle East


An anti-missile system operates after Iran launched drones and missiles toward Israel.

An anti-missile system operates after Iran launched drones and missiles toward Israel, as seen from Ashkelon, Israel April 14, 2024.Amir Cohen via Reuters

  • US futures ticked up ahead of the bell as investors look ahead to an uncertain week.

  • Brent Crude oil and gold prices dipped after a late-week surge triggered by anticipation of Iranian attacks on Israel.

  • Goldman Sachs is set to turn in its first-quarter earnings on Monday.

US stocks gained ahead of Monday’s opening bell as investors cautiously await Israel’s reaction to Iran’s missile attack over the weekend.

S&P 500 futures were up 0.51% and Nasdaq 100 futures had gained 0.54% shortly after 5 a.m. ET. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 0.32%, making back some of the losses from the previous week, which saw the Dow drop by 475 points — its worst week of the year so far.

Prices for Brent Crude oil fell 0.92% ahead of the bell but were still trading close to the $90 mark. Oil prices surged to a peak of more than $92 a barrel on Friday as reports emerged that Israel was bracing for a potential direct attack from Iran. Prices fell back over the weekend as Israel fended off Iranian missile and drone strikes.

In light of the weekend’s news, gold continues to prove its value as a safe-haven asset amid geopolitical uncertainty, with prices remaining near record highs. Though gold prices dipped by 0.24% on Monday morning, the metal is still trading above $2,300 per ounce.

Bitcoin fell sharply over the weekend but rebounded on Monday morning, rising 3.5%.

Markets have steadied amid calls for restraint from world leaders and a statement from President Joe Biden indicating that the US would not participate in a counter-strike against Iran.

But developments in the Middle East will remain the main focus for investors this week. If the conflict intensifies, rising oil prices could increase inflationary pressures, while the geopolitical shock could hurt economic growth. However, some analysts said the developments could also bring forward a Federal Reserve rate cut.

“As investors brace for further conflict, amid the tragic events unfolding, it’s still important to focus on longer-term horizons than short-term uncertainty. The shock of conflict is devastating, but history does point to relatively short-lived volatility on financial markets,” Hargreaves Lansdown’s Susannah Streeter said in a morning note.

Goldman Sachs is scheduled to report earnings Monday morning and retail sales data for the last month will be released.

Later this week, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, and Blackstone will report quarterly earnings, and policymakers, including Fed chair Jerome Powell, are set to make comments.

Read the original article on Business Insider



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