US stock futures inch higher ahead of packed data week – MarketWatch

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U.S. stock futures posted mild gains in holiday-thinned trade on Monday, ahead of a heavy week on the data front including consumer-confidence and nonfarm-payrolls numbers.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average YMM7, +0.08%  added 8 points to 21,074 while those for the S&P 500 index ESM7, +0.11%  gained 1.70 points, or 0.1%, to 2,415.50. Futures for the Nasdaq-100 index NQM7, +0.14%  rose 7 points, or 0.1%, to 5,799. 25.

The bourses won’t open for ordinary trade later on Monday, as financial markets in the U.S. are closed for the Memorial Day holiday. U.K. and Chinese markets are also off for a holiday.

Read: When do markets close for Memorial Day?

Ahead of the long weekend, the S&P 500 SPX, +0.03%  and Nasdaq Composite COMP, +0.08% on Friday logged tiny gains that nevertheless were enough for the benchmarks to finish in record territory. The Dow average DJIA, -0.01%  ended slightly lower.

“The old adage of ‘sell in May and go away’ hasn’t worked out too well. Global stocks have now been rallying for six weeks. U.S. stock markets completely unwound the sell-off that occurred after the leaked memo from FBI Director Comey,” said Jasper Lawler, senior market analyst, in a note.

“Dip-buyers won out again,” he added.

All three indexes posted their biggest one-day losses of 2017 earlier in May, after reports that President Donald Trump in February asked then-director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, James Comey, to stop his investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Since then, more turmoil has surrounded the White House. Over the weekend, media reports said Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, had considered setting up a secret channel between Russia and Washington to allow for secure communications with a Russian military official.

Economic data: While there was no major reports due on Monday, traders braced for a packed week of economic data.

The two most important reports will be May consumer-confidence figures on Tuesday and the May jobs report on Friday, according to Brad McMillan, chief investment officer for Commonwealth Financial Network.

Economists polled by MarketWatch expect a consumer-confidence reading of 118.6, down from last month’s 120.3, and for 185,000 jobs to have been created in May. Of primary importance in the job figures, however, will be wage growth and productivity.

Inflation data are on deck Tuesday as well, while the closely watched ISM manufacturing index comes out on Thursday.

See: MarketWatch’s economic calendar

Other markets: Stocks in Asia closed mostly higher, as investors shrugged off North Korea’s latest missile launch.

Stocks in Europe SXXP, -0.11%  were mostly lower in thin trade, with the Brits out for a bank holiday.

Oil CLN7, -0.06%  was down 0.5%, while gold GCM7, -0.14%  slipped 0.1%. The dollar traded mixed against other major currencies, keeping the ICE Dollar Index DXY, -0.05%  in tight ranges.

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