3 Hot Things in the Market Right Now

Market Snapshot

Global stocks rallied Monday, while U.S. equity futures pointed to extended gains on Wall Street as investors shifted focus from President Donald Trump's trade rhetoric to the underlying 'Goldilocks' potential of the world's biggest economy.

Early indications from U.S. equity futures suggest traders will continue to take markets higher after last week's stronger-than-expected February employment report, which showed a net 313,000 new jobs created but only indicated a modest 0.1% bump in average hourly earnings, suggesting robust economic growth that won't change the Federal Reserve's path of at least three interest rate hikes this year.

Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average were marked 87 points higher from their Friday close, extending the benchmark's 3.25% gain from last week. The broader S&P 500, which rose 3.5% last week, is priced for a 8.25 point advance at the start of trading later today.

The Nasdaq is set to extend its record-setting run Monday as heavyweight tech stocks move higher in pre-market trading amid a passive investment drive into the sector that has taken U.S. valuations past the $7 trillion mark and ongoing concerns over a global trade war.

Futures tied to the tech-heavy benchmark jumped 36.75 points higher in after hours trading, indicating an opening bell gain of around 32.3 points, a move that would extend its year-to-date gain past 10%, nearly triple the advance for the broader S&P 500 since the first of January. The Nasdaq 100, a more tight-focused group of the country's biggest tech stocks, has gained 11.5% so far this year while the closely-watch Philadelphia Semiconductor Index closed at a record 1,431.16 points Friday.

European stocks opened firmly higher, with the Stoxx 600 index gaining 0.41% by mid-dat in Frankfurt, led by a 0.62% gain for Germany's DAX performance index, which was powered by a three-way blockbuster deal in the country's energy sector that split assets between power giants RWE AG, (RWEOY) E.on AG (EONGY) and Innogy AG (INNYY) , which surged more than 15% on news of the deal.

Deutsche Bank shares were also extending gains, rising 0.5% to the €13.15 each, the highest since Feb. 28, after Germany's biggest lender valued the flotation of its asset management unit at around €7.2 billion over the weekend.

Overnight in Asia, markets were fuelled by Friday's jobs report and news of a potential summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un later this spring, both of which combined to overshadow the U.S. President's decision to slap steep tariffs on steel and aluminium that could lead to retaliatory moves from major economies such as Europe and China and ultimately spark a damaging trade war.

The region-wide MSCI Asia ex-Japan index was marked 0.3% higher into the close of trading while Japan's Nikkei 225 benchmark gained 1.65% to close at 21,824.03 points as tech stocks surged following Friday's record close of 7,560.81 close for the Nasdaq Composite index.

Global oil prices, however, slipped modestly in overnight trading after surging more than $2 on Friday following the robust U.S. jobs report, with Brent crude contracts for May delivery, the global benchmark, falling 45 cents per barrel to $65.14 each. WTI contracts for April were also marked 27 cents lower from their Friday close in New York at $61.77 per barrel.