(RTTNews) - After ending last Friday's trading sharply higher, stocks could see some further upside in early trading on Monday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a slightly higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 11 points.
The markets may continue to benefit from the positive reaction to last week's monthly jobs report, which showed much stronger than expected job growth in the month of July.
The Labor Department said the U.S. economy added 163,000 jobs in July compared to expectations for an increase of 100,000 jobs. Despite the stronger than expected job growth for the month, the unemployment rate unexpectedly edged up to 8.3 percent in July from 8.2 percent in June.
Nonetheless, buying interest is likely to be relatively subdued amid a lack of major U.S. economic data. A relatively light day on the earnings front is also likely to keep some traders on the sidelines.
Comments from Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti are also likely to limit any upside for the markets, as he warned that Europe is facing the threat of a psychological disintegration and urged all leaders to become more independent from their parliaments.
In an interview with German magazine Der Spiegel, which was published on Sunday, Monti said the debt crisis risks the future of the single-currency bloc.
Among individual stocks, shares of Best Buy (BBY) are moving sharply higher in pre-market trading on news the consumer electronic retailer's founder and chairman Richard Schulze offered to acquire the company for $24 to $26 per share in cash.
Schulze's offer price represents a premium of 36 percent to 47 percent to Best Buy's closing price of $17.64 on Friday.
On the other hand, Knight Capital Group (KCG) is likely to come under pressure in early trading after the financial services company said it has entered into an agreement for the sale of $400 million of 2 percent convertible preferred stock in an effort to survive the huge trading loss it incurred on erroneous trades.
Stocks saw substantial strength during trading on Friday, bouncing back to the upside after moving mostly lower over the course of the four previous sessions. The markets benefited from a positive reaction to the Labor Department's monthly jobs report.
After moving sharply higher in early trading, the major averages remained firmly positive throughout the trading session. The Dow surged up 217.29 points or 1.7 percent to 13,096.17, the Nasdaq jumped 58.13 points or 2 percent to 2,967.90 and the S&P 500 soared 25.99 points or 1.9 percent to 1,390.99.
With the strong gains on the day, the major averages offset the losses posted earlier in the week. The Dow edged up by 0.2 percent for the week, while the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 rose by 0.3 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region saw considerable strength during trading on Monday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index surged up by 2 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index jumped by 1.7 percent.
The major European markets have also moved to the upside on the day. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index has crept up by 0.3 percent, the German DAX Index has risen by 0.5 percent and the French CAC 40 Index has advanced by 0.7 percent.
In commodities trading, crude oil futures are slipping $0.39 to $91.01 a barrel after advancing $1.27 or 1.4 percent to $91.40 a barrel in the week ended August 3rd. Gold futures, which fell $13.40 or 0.8 percent to $1,609.30 an ounce last week, are edging up $1.60 to $1,610.90 an ounce.
On the currency front, the U.S. dollar was little changed against the yen last week, ending the week at 78.46 yen. Meanwhile, the greenback dipped 0.5 percent against the euro to $1.2387. The dollar is currently trading at 78.30 yen and is valued at $1.2388 versus the euro.
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