Skip to main content

The S&P 500 was on track to open around its record closing high on Monday as stock futures inched higher. 

S&P 500 futures were up 0.12%, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures gained 0.15%, and Nasdaq futures climbed 0.1%. 

The S&P 500 ended a record-making July on Friday just shy of clinching new closing highs. The index gained 0.16% on Friday to 2,173.43, short of its previous record of 2,175.03. For the month, the S&P 500 gained 3.6%.

It was a quieter morning for earnings releases after the breakneck pace of recent trading days. Major S&P 500 companies including Apple (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report , Facebook (FB) - Get Meta Platforms Inc. Class A Report , Alphabet (GOOGL) - Get Alphabet Inc. Class A Report  and Amazon (AMZN) - Get, Inc. Report reported on their recent quarters last week. 

Diamond Offshore (DO) - Get Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc. Report  , Loews (L) - Get Loews Corporation Report and AMC Entertainment (AMC) - Get AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. Class A Report were among the only earnings releases of note out Monday morning. Diamond Offshore exceeded profit estimates as cost cuts helped to counter weaker demand in the face of lower oil prices. Adjusted earnings of 16 cents a share was more than five times analysts' estimates. 

Loews, a holding company which owns a stake in Diamond Offshore, missed quarterly earnings estimates on a large asset write-down at the drilling company. Loews reported a per-share loss of 19 cents compared to profit of 46 cents a share a year earlier. 

TheStreet Recommends

AMC Entertainment missed earnings estimates in its recent quarter as a summer slump in box-office revenue took a chunk out of its results. The theater chain reported earnings of 24 cents a share on revenue of $764 million. Analysts had expected earnings of 27 cents a share on revenue of $773 million. 

An interest rate hike this year is not off the table, New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley said Monday. Chances of a 2016 hike were lowered in June as the Brexit vote and weaker labor market performance in May introduced challenges to the Fed's plans to gradually increase rates. 

"Market expectations, to my eye, derived from federal funds futures prices, which price in no more than one 25 basis-point rate hike through the end of 2017 ... appear to be too complacent," he told a conference in Bali. Dudley expects the U.S. economy to grow roughly 2% over the next 18 months as consumer spending improves. 

Tesla (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc Report and SolarCity (SCTY) outlined plans to merge on Monday morning. Tesla's buyout offer of $25.83 a share for SolarCity values the alternative-energy company at $2.5 billion. The two companies will further detail their plans on a conference call Monday morning. SolarCity shares shot up more than 7% before the bell. 

Verizon Communications (VZ) - Get Verizon Communications Inc. Report agreed to acquire Fleetmatics Group (FLTX)  , which offers Web-based and mobile fleet management services, in a deal valued at $2.4 billion.

Dollar General (DG) - Get Dollar General Corporation Report was downgraded to hold from buy at Deutsche Bank. The move was a valuation call based on a $99 price target. Dollar Tree (DLTR) - Get Dollar Tree, Inc. Report , meanwhile, was upgraded to buy from hold. The firm sees material margin upside to consensus. 

Harley-Davidson (HOG) - Get Harley-Davidson, Inc. Report was downgraded to underweight from equal weight at Barclays. Analysts said the action was based on a $45 price target.