WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - After trending higher over the past several sessions, stocks may show a lack of direction in early trading on Monday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a roughly flat open for the markets, with the S&P 500 futures nearly unchanged.
Traders may take a breather following the recent strength on Wall Street, which lifted the S&P 500 to a new record closing high above 5,000.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq has also shown a significant advance in recent sessions, closing in the on the record highs set in November 2021.
A lack of major U.S. economic data may also keep some traders on the sidelines ahead of the release of several key reports in the coming days.
On Tuesday, the Labor Department is due to release its report on consumer price inflation in the month of January, which could have a significant impact on the outlook for interest rates.
Reports on retail sales, industrial production, producer price inflation and consumer sentiment are also likely to attract attention later in the week.
Among individual stocks, shares of Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA) are seeing significant pre-market strength after Piper Sandler upgraded its rating on the pharmaceutical company to Overweight from Neutral.
Retailer Urban Outfitters (URBN) may also move to the upside after UBS upgraded its rating on the company's stock to Neutral from Sell.
On the other hand, shares of Big Lot (BIG) are plunging in pre-market trading after Loop Capital downgraded its rating on the discount retailer to Sell from Hold.
Electric vehicle maker Rivian Automotive (RIVN) may also come under pressure after Barclays downgraded its rating on the company's stock to Equal Weight from Overweight.
With technology stocks leading the charge, stocks moved mostly higher over the course of the trading session on Friday. The major averages extended a recent upward trend, with the S&P 500 closing above 5,000 for the first time ever.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq posted a standout gain, surging 196.95 points or 1.3 percent to 15,990.66. The S&P 500 also climbed 28.70 points or 0.6 percent to 5,026.61, while the narrower Dow bucked the uptrend amid a pullback by Disney (DIS) and edged down 54.64 points or 0.1 percent to 38,671.69.
For the week, the Nasdaq shot up by 2.3 percent and the S&P 500 jumped by 1.4 percent. The Dow inched slightly higher.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower on Monday, with several major markets closed for holidays. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index fell by 0.4 percent, while India's Sensex slid by 0.7 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets are turning in a mixed performance on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is down by 0.1 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index are both up by 0.4 percent.
In commodities trading, crude oil futures are sliding $0.77 to $76.07 a barrel after climbing $0.62 to $76.84 a barrel last Friday. Meanwhile, after falling $9.20 to $2,038.70 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are edging down $0.80 to $2,037.90 an ounce.
On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 149.12 yen versus the 149.29 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Friday. Against the euro, the dollar is trading at $1.0766 compared to last Friday's $1.0784.
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