Dow Jones futures: index set to fall on Monday

A blockbuster week of company results and economic stats will give investors a blow-by-blow account of the Covid-19 crisis on the US economy.

Dow set to open lower after 1.9% weekly loss

Dow Jones shares look set to open slightly weaker this week as investors gear up for a blockbuster earnings season, economic data dump and interest rate meeting that will give traders an insight in the pain experienced by American energy and manufacturing in particular.

In weekend trading with IG, the Dow Jones fell 37 points, or 0.2%, to be just above 23,715.00 points at 2248 GMT. That’s down on Friday’s close of 23,775.27 points, which was down 1.9% for the week. The Dow Jones Futures contact for June was changing hands at 23,639.00 points.

The Dow is coming off a week that was dominated by the energy sector. Buyers were essentially paying sellers to take oil off their hands as the WTI Intermediate index, the American benchmark, sank below US$0 for the first time. Storage tanks in Cushing, Oklahoma, the site of America’s most important oil reserves, began to run out of space.

Energy, manufacturing themes ahead for investors

Tuesday is when the action will start off with US consumer confidence data out, as well as quarterly results from Caterpillar, a manufacturer of major construction equipment. Caterpillar is seen by many as a bellwether for the construction industry and the world economy in general because its exposure to global industry.

Continuing the manufacturing theme will be 3M, a major multinational manufacturer. And then to round out Tuesday’s results will be Pfizer, where a number of defensive investors will have parked their money, hoping to capitalise on the Covid-19 response.

On Wednesday, the US Federal Reserve has an interest rate decision scheduled. While interest rates are at near-zero and America’s quantitative easing program in full swing, investors are likely to be looking for the central bank’s commentary and insight, rather than additional interventions.

More from manufacturing with General Electricand Boeing reporting quarterly results. Microsoft, an American software giant, will also hand down its quarterly numbers.

On Thursday, US initial jobless claims will give investors another snapshot of the damage to the US jobs market that Covid-19 unleashed.

In company results, attention will shift across the Atlantic to oil giant Royal Dutch Shell, which reports its quarterly earnings. And in China, manufacturing data is set to be released.

Finally, on Friday, manufacturing data will also appear in the US, along with manufacturing prices paid by buyers. The oil theme will also continue in the US with Exxon and Chevron reporting quarterly numbers.

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