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Stock futures point to opening declines as the S&P 500 sits inches from a record

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Traders work on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

NYSE

Stock futures are lower in early morning trading on Monday as the S&P 500 attempts to hit record highs this week amid optimism about the economy continuing to reopen this summer.

S&P 500 futures traded slightly in negative territory while Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 73 points. The Nasdaq 100 futures also traded lower.

The S&P 500 is just 0.2% from its intraday record high in early May. The benchmark gained 0.6% last week to push its gains above 12% in 2021. The Dow and Nasdaq also posted gains last week.

Friday’s job report showed that the unemployment rate fell from 6.1% to 5.8% and that 559,000 jobs were created in May. The report was deemed strong enough to maintain investor confidence in the economy but light enough to deter the Federal Reserve from changing its monetary policy.

Investors are focused on inflation data over the coming week, with the consumer price index (CPI) slated to be released Thursday for May. In April, CPI rose 4.2% yoy, the fastest increase since 2008. Should prices continue to rise, it could cause the Federal Reserve to step back from its loose policy.

At the weekend, the G-7 countries reached an agreement on a global tax reform that calls on the world’s largest corporations to pay at least 15% tax on their profits. That is less than the Biden government’s original proposal for a minimum tax rate of 21%, which did not generate much enthusiasm in other countries. Big companies like Facebook and Google have responded positively to the agreement.

Meme stocks will be back in the spotlight this week. Most of these speculative stocks, including GameStop, AMC and BlackBerry, ended the week in the red despite massive gains after a volatile week of trading.

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Robert Dunfee