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Upward Momentum May Lead To Continued Strength On Wall Street

After moving sharply higher to close out the previous week, stocks are likely to see further upside in early trading on Monday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a positive open for the markets, with the S&P 500 futures up by 0.5 percent.

Stocks may continue to benefit from the upward momentum seen over the two previous sessions, which partly reflected renewed optimism about the outlook for interest rates.

Relatively dovish comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell combined with weaker-than-expected job growth in April have largely eliminated short-lived concerns the Fed might actually consider raising rates.

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Investors have instead grown increasingly confident about a rate cut in the coming months, with the chances rates will be lower by September now at 91.2 percent, according to CME Group’s FedWatch Tool.

Overall trading activity may be somewhat subdued, however, as a lack of major U.S. economic data is likely to keep some traders on the sidelines.

The economic calendar remains relatively quiet throughout the week, although a preliminary reading on consumer sentiment in May might attract some attention along with remarks by several Fed officials.

Among individual stocks, media giant Paramount Global (PARA) is moving sharply higher in pre-market trading after report from the New York Times said the company decided to formally open negotiations with a bidding group led by Sony Pictures Entertainment and the private equity giant Apollo.

Shares of Tyson Foods (TSN) are also likely to see initial strength after the meat processing company reported fiscal second quarter earnings that exceeded analyst estimates.

Meanwhile, shares of Spirit Airlines (SAVE) are likely to come under pressure after the discount carrier reported a slightly wider than expected first quarter loss and provided disappointing second quarter revenue guidance.

Intimate apparel company Victoria’s Secret (VSCO) is also seeing significant pre-market weakness after Morgan Stanley downgraded its rating on the company’s stock to Underweight from Equal-Weight.

Following the rally seen over the course of Thursday’s session, stocks showed another strong move to the upside during trading on Friday. The major averages all moved sharply higher, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq leading the charge.

The major averages moved roughly sideways after an early surge, remaining firmly positive. The Dow jumped 450.02 points or 1.2 percent to 38,675.68, the Nasdaq spiked 315.37 points or 2.0 percent to 16,156.33 and the S&P 500 shot up 63.59 points or 1.3 percent to 5,127.79.

For the week, the S&P 500 climbed by 0.6 percent, while the Dow advanced by 1.1 percent and the Nasdaq jumped by 1.4 percent.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Monday, with markets in Japan and South Korea closed for holidays. China’s Shanghai Composite Index rallied by 1.2 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index climbed by 0.6 percent.

The major European markets have also moved to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index has jumped by 1.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is up by 0.9 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.5 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are climbing $0.67 to $78.78 a barrel after sliding $0.84 to $78.11 a barrel last Friday. Meanwhile, after edging down $1 to $2,308.60 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are rising $16.70 to $2,325.30 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 153.53 yen versus the 153.05 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Friday. Against the euro, the dollar is trading at $1.0784 compared to last Friday’s $1.0761.

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