Time to reclaim this thread from the weekend trolls...
U.S. stock futures pointed to a slightly higher start Monday as investors trained their attention on a speech by Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen.
Dow Jones Industrial Average index futures rose 25 points, or 0.1%, to 19,819, while S&P 500 index futures up 2.2 points to 2,257.50. Nasdaq-100 futures gained 4.75 points to 4,920.50.
A speech by Fed's Yellen, scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time at the University of Baltimore on "The State of the Labor Market" will mark the last of the central bank's speeches before the Christmas break and will be followed for any additional guidance on monetary policy. Her speech comes less than a week after the Fed raised interest rates for only the second time in about a decade and indicated a faster pace of rate hikes in 2017 than had previously been expected.
Last week, the Dow industrials closed up 0.4%, marking the longest weekly run of gains since November 2015. The S&P 500 index fell about 0.1%, along with the Nasdaq Composite Index . But overall, Friday marked a weaker session for stocks after reports of a Chinese warship had seized an underwater U.S. Navy drone.
Beijing has agreed to return the drone, but analysts said the diplomatic spat highlights growing tensions in China-U.S. relations in that region, which could prove disruptive to Wall Street trade.
"While no one expects the USA and China to be best friends, moving away from the current status quo into a frosty relationship could provide an unwelcome backdrop for markets," said Rebecca O'Keefe, head of investment at stockbroker Interactive Investor, in a note to clients.
Some still believe the stock markets have moved too far too fast this year, and may not get a so-called Santa Claus rally in the last trading days of 2016. The Dow industrials has tried and failed in recent sessions to nail the psychologically important 20,000 level.