By Peter Nurse
Investing.com -- U.S. stocks are seen opening lower Monday, handing back some of the previous week’s sharp gains, with the quarterly earnings focus turning towards the retail sector.
The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 4.2% last week, the broad-based S&P 500 rose 5.9%, its best week since June, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite climbed 8.1%, its strongest week since March.
Some of this optimism has dissipated following comments from Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller, who stated over the weekend that the markets shouldn't get carried away over just one "data point."
The economic data slate is largely empty Monday, but Wednesday's retail sales numbers for October should provide insight into how consumers are faring ahead of the key holiday shopping season amid historically high inflation and rising interest rates.
The retail sector will also be in focus this week in terms of corporate earnings, with Tyson Foods (NYSE: TSN ) set to report early Monday, and the likes of Walmart (NYSE: WMT ), Home Depot (NYSE: HD ), Target (NYSE: TGT ), Lowe’s (NYSE: LOW ), Macy’s (NYSE: M ), and Kohl's (NYSE: KSS ) all slated to post numbers this week.
In the political arena, President Joe Biden's Democrats beat expectations and retained hold of the Senate over the weekend, but the Republicans moved closer to taking the House of Representatives, potentially limiting the extent of Biden’s legislative agenda.
Biden held his first face-to-face meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping since he became president at the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Indonesia, looking to stabilize the U.S.-China relationship and provide some certainty for U.S. businesses about its future path.
Oil prices weakened Monday, handing back some of the recent gains as the U.S. dollar strengthened, making the commodity more expensive for foreign buyers.
Crude prices had rallied sharply on Friday, posting gains of around 3%, after China’s health authorities had cut the quarantine period for incoming travelers, raising hopes of a more substantial relaxation of the country’s Zero-COVID policy.
However, the number of reported cases in China climbed over the weekend, making it difficult for the country’s government to adjust its strict policy as winter approaches.
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