S&P 500 futures steady after index scales 5,000 for the first time

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U.S. stock futures on Monday held their ground after the S&P 500 finally closed above the 5,000 mark in the 10th record finish for 2024.

What’s happening

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average futures
    fell 45 points, or 0.1%, to 38703.

  • S&P 500 futures
    dropped 0 points, or 0%, to 5044.

  • Nasdaq-100 futures
    increased 14 points, or 0.1%, to 18053.

On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
fell 55 points, or 0.14%, to 38672, the S&P 500
increased 29 points, or 0.57%, to 5027, and the Nasdaq Composite
gained 197 points, or 1.25%, to 15991.

The S&P 500 has gained ground for five consecutive weeks, a period in which it’s advanced by 7%.

What’s driving markets

Two-thirds through fourth-quarter earnings season, 76% of companies have beaten bottom-line estimates, say analysts at Jefferies.

“Though we spend plenty of time thinking, analyzing and charting indicators of sentiment, flows, performance and economic health, the reality is that earnings revisions really do the best job of divining what direction stocks are likely to go in. And that leads us to flag that it’s probably fundamentals, more than anything else, that are perpetuating the rally that started late last year,” said Andrew Greenbaum, senior v.p. of equity product management at Jefferies.

Tuesday’s release of consumer price index data could derail those fundamentals.

“The Fed continues to look forward to rate cuts to offset an expected tightening of financial conditions as inflation returns to 2%, but the timing and magnitude remains elusive given the strength of the economy and lingering uncertainty over the path of inflation,” said Tim Duy, chief U.S. economist at SGH Macro Advisors.

Another major deal in the oil space may be coming as the Wall Street Journal reported Diamondback Energy
is set to buy Endeavor Energy Resources.

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