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Dow Futures Up Ahead of Busy Earnings Week; Tesla in Focus

More than a third of the S&P 500 will report March quarter earnings this week, with collective profits forecast to rise 34% from last year to a share-weighted $362.8 billion.

The Monday Market Minute

  • Global stocks nudge higher, while Wall Street futures trade mixed, heading into a crucial week for stock markets highlighted by a wave of corporate earnings and a Fed rate decision. 
  • More than a third of the S&P 500 will report March quarter earnings this week, as collective profits are forecast to rise 34% from last year to a share-weighted $362.8 billion.
  • Benchmark 10-year note yields edge higher, to 1.59% in overnight trading, while the dollar holds at multi-week lows against a basket of its global currency peers.
  • Oil prices slide as India's COVID crisis deepens, but Shanghai copper prices hit a 10-year high as factory activity around the world signals a robust second-half rebound
  • CDC data shows 94.7 million Americans have now been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, with around 228.3 million doses administered as of Sunday.
  • U.S. equity futures suggest a mixed open on Wall Street ahead of the busiest earnings week of the year, a Wednesday Fed rate decision and first-quarter GDP data on Thursday.

U.S. equity futures were little changed in early Monday trading as investors adopted a cautious stance heading into a crucial week for Wall Street, highlighted by 180 corporate earnings reports, a Federal Reserve rate decision and first-quarter GDP data. 

With stocks near record highs and the U.S. vaccine rollout putting shots in the arms of more than 228 million people, the U.S. economy looks poised to accelerate at a record pace over the second half of the year, with corporate earnings and investment providing the fuel and the Fed's low-rate policies and ongoing liquidity support lighting the fuse. 

First-quarter S&P 500 profits are expected to rise 34% from last year to a share-weighted $362.8 billion, according to Refinitiv forecasts, and 85.4% of the 125 companies that have reported so far have topped Street forecasts

Around a third of the S&P 500 will report March quarter earnings this week,  with updates from heavyweights Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc. Report, Apple  (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report, Microsoft  (MSFT) - Get Microsoft Corporation Report, Google  (GOOGL) - Get Alphabet Inc. Report, Facebook  (FB) - Get Meta Platforms Inc. Report and Amazon  (AMZN) - Get Inc. Report starting with the clean-energy carmaker after the close of trading today. 

The Fed's two-day policy meeting will begin Tuesday, alongside fresh auctions of 2-year and 5-year notes and muted 10-year Treasury note yields of 1.59%, while first-quarter GDP data expecting to show a 6.9% annualized growth rate for the world's biggest economy is expected on Thursday. 

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With a flurry of U.S. earnings -- as well as the busiest reporting week of the year in Europe -- in the windscreen, U.S. equity futures were muted Monday, with contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average suggesting a modest 55 point opening bell gain and those linked to the S&P 500 priced for a 4 point decline.

Nasdaq Composite futures, meanwhile, are indicating a 45 point pullback ahead of the tech-focused earnings slate this week, with Tesla marked 0.11% lower at $728.60 in pre-market trading before its after-the-bell earnings that are expected to including a bottom line of 79 cents per share on revenues of $10.3 billion - a 72% increase from the same period last year.

Global oil prices were on the back foot, however, amid the ongoing surge in coronavirus infections in India, the world's fourth-largest energy market, where cases have topped 17.3 million following five consecutive days of record highs.

WTI crude for June delivery was marked $1.08 lower at $61.06 per barrel while Brent contracts for the same month fell another $1.11 to $65.00 per barrel.

Overnight in Europe, stocks were largely flat heading into an active earnings week, with gains capped by a disappointing reading of business sentiment in Germany, where the closely-watched Ifo index rose to 96.8 points, but missed analysts forecasts as respondents noted the impact of the third wave of infections and supply-chain bottlenecks. 

Overnight in Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 edged 0.36% higher to close at 29,126.23 points following the late Friday decision by the government to impose a "short and powerful" state of emergency for Tokyo and Osaka in order to snuff out a worrying surge in COVID infections less than three months ahead of the start of the delayed Olympic Games.