U.S. stock index futures are called to open flat on Monday as investors eye the destructive path of tropical storm Isaac and Ben Bernanke for clues on possible Federal Reserve monetary policy.
The Dow is set to open at 13,155 down 1 point, the Nasdaq at 2,787.25 up 12.25 points and the S&P 500 at 1,411 up 2.10 points.
It’s set to be a busy week for U.S. markets with more economic data due to be released which could provide further clues on the state of the U.S. recovery. Releases include the Fed’s summary on business activity (known as the “beige book”), second quarter GDP revisions and consumer confidence.
Investors are also looking ahead to Friday when Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is set to give a speech at the St. Louis Fed’s annual symposium in Wyoming for hints of further easing. However, some economists doubt the speech will reveal any new details of policy plans.
U.S. stocks have enjoyed a rally over the last six weeks and touched a new four-year high, but last week they posted their first weekly loss in six weeks. Uncertainties in the euro zone and on potential Fed monetary policy to stimulate the economy have unsettled markets.
As tropical storm Isaac continues to move closer to the Gulf coast, investors are watching the storm’s development to see how much damage it could do to homes, businesses and oil production.
After hitting south Florida with winds and heavy rain on Sunday, the storm has forced oil majors to shut down offshore oil production in the Gulf of Mexico sending Nymex higher and forcing the Republican party to delay the start of their national convention in Tampa.
The tropical storm could become a hurricane when it’s forecast to hit New Orleans mid-week on the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, according to Reuters.
In earnings, pollution control company Donaldson [DCI 34.90 -0.25 (-0.71%) ], offshore drilling company Seadrill [SDRL 41.13 0.13 (+0.32%) ] and jeweler Tiffany and Co. [TIF 58.50 0.04 (+0.07%) ] report their second quarter earnings on Monday.
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