U.S. stock futures volatile as Wall Street strives to shake off back-to-back losses

U.S. stock futures saw choppy trading early Monday, with the S&P 500 contract twitching in a nearly 40-point range, as Wall Street strives to bounce after back-to-back weekly losses.

How stocks are trading

  • S&P 500 futures
    rose 4.50 points, or 0.1%, to 4,485.25.

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average futures YM00 were up 41 points, or 0.1%, at 35,392.

  • Nasdaq-100 futures
    edged up 23.25 points, or 0.2%, to 15,119.

The S&P 500
and Nasdaq Composite
logged back-to-back weekly losses on Friday, while the Dow
bucked the trend to post a 0.6% gain.

What’s driving markets

Futures were a touch firmer, having bounced off session lows, but the cautious mood of late is seeping into the new week, with sentiment not helped by lingering concerns about prospects for China’s economy.

The S&P 500 recorded two consecutive weeks of losses, shedding 2.6% in the process, after the rally faltered in many big technology stocks such as Apple
and Nvidia

Choppiness in the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield
which has moved to within just several basis points of its highest level since the Great Financial Crisis, partly on expectations of increased government issuance, has discouraged stock bulls.

With more than 90% of the S&P 500 having reported, the second quarter earnings season is starting to wind down, though retailers will be a feature in the coming days as Home Depot
and Walmart
present their numbers. July retail sales data is due Tuesday morning.

Stronger-than-expected retail sales could fuel the idea that the U.S. economy will fall on its four feet and avoid recession amid the Federal Reserve’s aggressive tightening cycle, but it won’t necessarily impact inflation expectations,” Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote Bank, said in a note.

“But anyway, strong sales data and encouraging earnings could halt bleeding in U.S. stocks” after back-to-back declines for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq, she said.

A sour tone from Asia was containing any rise in risk assets on Monday, after Country Garden Holdings
China’s biggest home builder, saw its shares plunge to another record low on news it was suspending trading in around 11 of its mainland bonds. The news added to fears about the health of the world’s second biggest economy and left Hong Kong’s Hang Seng
down 1.7%.

Companies in focus

  • United States Steel Corp. shares 
    surged 28% in premarket trade after Cleveland-Cliffs Inc.
     announced Sunday it had made a $7.3 billion takeover bid that was rejected by the steelmaker’s board. Earlier Sunday, U.S. Steel said it was reviewing “strategic alternatives” after receiving multiple unsolicited acquisition proposals. Cleveland-Cliffs shares fell 0.6%.

  • Shares of AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. slumped more than 25% after a Delaware court on Friday approved a revised, but still controversial, stock-conversion plan for the movie-theater chain. The ruling saw AMC preferred equity units
    jump more than 25%.

  • Tesla Inc.
    were lower after the electric-vehicle maker cut the cost of two versions of its Model Y SUVs on Sunday.

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