The U.S. stock index futures point to a slightly higher open Monday ahead of Tuesday’s Presidential election.
The futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.13 percent, the futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index were up 0.11 percent and those on the Nasdaq 100 Index were up 0.09 percent.
This week there will be plenty of attention on the U.S. Presidential elections and various permutations of the outcome and its impact on the markets. “Polls show that the Presidential race is too close to call although the House and Senate races look like delivering the status quo. The worst case scenario for markets is for a prolonged period of uncertainty if the results produce no clear cut result,” Credit Agricole said in a note.
The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) non-manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) will be reported Monday. The ISM non-manufacturing index, which rates the relative level of business conditions, including employment, production, new orders, prices, supplier deliveries and inventories, is expected to fall to 54.5 in October, down from 55.1 in September. A level above 50 represents expansion in the industry.
On Friday, the U.S. stocks fell with market players remaining cautious ahead of the elections. According to the data reported Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nonfarm payrolls report, which measures the change in the number of people employed during the previous month, excluding the farming industry, rose to 171,000 in October, up from 148,000 in September.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.05 percent, the S&P 500 Index was down 0.94 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index declined 1.26 percent.
European markets fell Monday as investors continued to maintain caution amid the revival of concerns of debt crisis affecting the euro zone. London's FTSE 100 was down 26.37 points, Germany's DAX 30 index fell 44.37 points and France's CAC 40 dropped 23.60 points.
Asian stocks fell Monday following the global cues. According to the HSBC China Services Purchasing Managers Index released Thursday, the reading of the PMI, a measure of the service sector activity, fell to 53.50 in October down from 54.3 in September. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was down 79.63 points, Japan's Nikkei Stock Average fell 43.78 points and India’s BSE Sensex declined 15.72 points.