U.S. stock index futures point to a mixed open on Monday ahead of release of Chicago Fed National Activity Index for April. Markets were seen treading cautiously on the first working day of the week after scaling several record highs in the past week.
Futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index dropped 0.08 percent to 1,661.70 and those on the Nasdaq 100 Index remained flat at 3,022.75, while futures on Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.03 percent to 15,320.
Investors on Monday are likely to focus on the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI), a monthly index designed to better gauge overall economic activity and inflationary pressure, due to be released at 8:30 a.m. EST, Monday. The index is an important gauge of national economic activity, as it combines 85 diverse and already released indicators from four broad categories – employment, unemployment, and hours; personal consumption and housing; and sales, orders, and inventories – into an overall index to measure economic performance.
The CFNAI recorded a reading of -0.23 in March, down from 0.76 in February. A negative value indicates below-average growth and positive value indicates above-average growth.
U.S. stocks finished higher for the fourth straight week on Friday, as positive economic outlook and better-than-expected economic indicators buoyed the investor confidence.
Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.80 percent to close at 15,354.40, while the Standard & Poor's 500 Index climbed 1.03 percent to end the session at 1,667.47 to finish at record levels. The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.97 percent to close at 3,498.97.
Confidence among the American consumers was the highest in almost six years, data showed on May 17. The Thomson Reuters/ University of Michigan's preliminary reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment rose to 83.7 from 76.4 in April. The economists on an average had expected a reading of 78. The current economic conditions gauge jumped to 97.5 from 89.9, its highest level since October 2007. The index of consumer expectations rose sharply to 74.8 from 67.8.
European stocks followed Asian markets and climbed higher in early trade, buoyed by positive sentiments from Japan and the U.S.
The London's FTSE100 gained 0.19 percent to 6736.05, France's CAC-40 gained 0.21 percent to 4009.49 and Germany's DAX-30 climbed 0.59 percent to 8,447.33.
Earlier, most Asian markets except South Korea's KOSPI headed for the highest close in five years on upbeat investor sentiments set in after positive economic data from the U.S.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 1.78 percent to 23,493.03 while China's Shanghai Composite index surged 0.75 percent to 2,299.99. South Korea's KOSPI edged towards 1,982.43, down 0.22 percent, as geo-political concerns amid reports of North Korea’s fifth missile launch, weighed down heavily on the shares.
Japan’s Nikkei surged to a new five-and-a-half-year-high as the Japanese government upgraded its outlook on the economy. Yen gained against the dollar after Japan's economy minister said a weaker yen could hurt the economy. The Nikkei ended the day 1.47 percent higher at 15,360.81, its highest level in more than five years.