(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures rose on Monday, with oil shares leading the pack, as investors returned to riskier assets after a sharp selloff last week on worries about a slowing pace of U.S. economic growth.
Oil majors Chevron Corp, Exxon Mobil, Schlumberger NV and Occidental Petroleum gained between 2% and 3.6% in premarket trading, tracking a 3% jump in crude prices. [O/R]
The S&P 500 energy sector slumped 7.3% over the past week, its worst fall since mid-July, on concerns over the outlook for fuel demand due to new coronavirus restrictions in some parts of the world.
Other economy-sensitive stocks also rose, with major Wall Street banks up about 0.8%.
A rise in new infections caused by the Delta variant of the coronavirus has reignited fears of a delay in global economic recovery at a time when the U.S. Federal Reserve is considering a plan to taper its massive support for the world’s largest economy.
U.S. deaths related to COVID-19 hit a five-month high last week, while total number of cases were at 37.88 million as of Sunday, according to a Reuters tally.
IHS-Markit’s flash reading of U.S. business activity, due at 9:45 a.m. ET, is expected to retreat in August to 58.3 from 59.9 in July.
Focus is now on the Fed’s annual economic symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for more insight on the timeline for the central bank’s tapering of its asset purchases. The summit will be held virtually on Aug. 27 for the second straight year.
The main indexes ended the week lower, but rallied on Friday, boosted by market-leading technology megacaps, which had led Wall Street’s record rally from pandemic lows last year.
Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp, Amazon.com, Google-owner Alphabet Inc and Tesla Inc were all up between 0.3% and 0.8% before the opening bell.
At 7:05 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 151 points, or 0.43%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 15.5 points, or 0.35%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 46 points, or 0.3%.
Boeing Co added 1.3% after a media report that the planmaker was planning investment in Virgin Orbit’s $3.2 billion SPAC listing.
General Motors Co fell 2.1% after the largest U.S. automaker said it would take a $1 billion hit to expand the recall of its Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles due to the risk of fires from the high-voltage battery pack.
Walt Disney Co rose 0.9% after the media company raked in $125 million in online revenue from Marvel superhero film “Black Widow”.
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