U.S. equity futures pointed to a mixed open on Wall Street Monday, with rising global crude prices supporting the Dow Jones Industrial Average while a resurgent dollar holds down gains for broader American stocks.
The Dow is priced to gain around 7 points at the opening bell, according to current futures prices, thanks in part to a two-year high for global crude prices in overnight trading following a weekend purge by Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman of several key figures in the Kingdom's government amid a crackdown on corruption from the new regime of King Salman.
Brent crude, the benchmark for global prices, was marked 0.75% higher at $62.50 per barrel in early European trading, the highest since July 2015, following the weekend's news, which included not only the arrest of Prince Alwaleed bin Talal -- a well-known figures in the international investment community how heads both the country's Kingdom Holding Co. and Vision 2030 funds -- but also the ouster of Prince Miteb in Abdullah as head of its powerful National Guard.
While ostensibly portrayed in the international media -- and indeed to the nation's young domestic audience -- as a crackdown on corruption in the Kingdom, Prince Mohammed, or MBS as he his known, could well be using the purge to tighten his grip on power both at home and in the broader Gulf region following his elevation by King Salman earlier this year.
More broadly, the S&P 500 is slated to dip around 1.75 points, or 0.07% at the start of trading, amid a relatively light calendar of events including earnings from CVC Health Corp (CVS) - Get Report , Sysco Corp (SYY) - Get Report and Tenet Healthcare (THC) - Get Report while investors will also get a reading on domestic employment trends for the month of October.
Sprint Corp. (S) - Get Report shares slumped in 7.8% premarket trading after merger talks with T-Mobile (TMUS) - Get Report were called off and even as its majority owner Softbank Group (SFTBY) said it would increase its stake in the U.S. carrier, indicating an opening price of around $6.20 each.
Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure said the companies "recognize the benefits of scale through a potential combination" but "have agreed that it is best to move forward on our own."
European stocks were similarly muted Monday, with benchmarks in London and Germany falling from multi-week and all-time highs amid both the jump in oil prices and the resurgent dollar index, which took the measure of the greenback's strength against a basket of six global currencies to a four-month high of 95.02 overnight as investors extended bets that a House Republican plan to cut taxes by as much as $1.5 trillion over the next ten years would boost growth and inflation prospects and possibly accelerate the Federal Reserve's rate-tightening cycle.
Britain's FTSE 100 was marked 14 points, or 0.17% lower my late morning in London while the DAX index in Frankfurt gave back 36.6 points, or 0.27%, after a muted reading of private sector activity around the region -- the IHS Markit composite PMI survery -- was published earlier in the session.
Overnight in Asia, stocks pulled back modestly from multi-year highs amid a jump in oil prices linked to the Saudi crackdown, which led to the arrest of Prince Alwaleed, the head of the country's main investment vehicle, Kingdom Holding Co., and its "Vision 2030" investment fund.
The broadest measure of regional shares, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index, slipped 0.03% from its 10-year high last week nearing the end of the session while the Nikkei 225 was essentially unchanged at 22,548.35 points -- still within a whisker of a 26-year high - by the closing bell.