A trader works on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan, New York City, USA, 20 August 2021.
Andrew Kelly | Reuters
Stock futures were higher in early morning trading on Monday after a volatile week on Wall Street as investors watched a major event where the Federal Reserve could point to prospects for stimulus tapering.
Futures pegged to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 89 points. S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures were both also positive.
Key averages fell after a lost week as investors worried that the Fed's potential move to withdraw monetary stimulus could slow the economic recovery already challenged by the spread of the Delta-Covid-19 variant will.
The blue-chip Dow fell 1.1% last week while the S&P 500 was down nearly 0.6%, breaking a two-week winning streak. Tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 0.7% over the week.
"We suspect that investor beliefs are being challenged by the potential for impending monetary policy changes, changing growth and value rotations, and increasing development of new coronavirus cases," said Craig Johnson, technical markets strategist at Piper Sandler, in a note .
Traders are eagerly awaiting the Jackson Hole Symposium for guidance on the Fed's schedule to withdraw from its $ 120 billion monthly bond purchase program. The event takes place virtually on Thursday and Friday.
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For the month of August, the major benchmarks will post modest gains. The S&P 500 is up 1.1% for the month to date, while the blue-chip Dow is up 0.5% and the Nasdaq is up 0.3%.
"August is a historically volatile month for the markets and this year is no different as investors are currently climbing multiple walls of worry," said Rod von Lipsey, managing director of UBS Private Wealth Management. "Upward trends in Covid-19 cases and a downward spiral in Afghanistan are leading to a crisis of confidence at a time when many investors are on vacation."
In the meantime, Bitcoin topped $ 50,000 on Sunday, hitting a more than 3-month high. According to CoinDesk, it traded at $ 50,120.50 on Monday at 12:24 p.m. ET.