Stocks futures sharply higher as oil extends gains

*Bull in front of the NYSE.

*Bull in front of the NYSE.

22 February 2016, New York — U.S. stock index futures were sharply higher on Monday, in lock-step with oil prices, as investors look for signs of stability after a turbulent start to the year.

Crude prices were up more than 3 percent after data showed a fall in U.S. rig counts and the International Energy Agency said it expects U.S. shale oil output to fall.

Global stocks rose on the jump in oil prices and as weak data on private business activity in the euro zone stoked expectations of a further easing of monetary policy by the European Central Bank.

Investors are also keeping a close eye on the U.S. Federal Reserve for its next move on interest rates.

While Fed Chair Janet Yellen has indicated the central bank would stick to its rate hike program, policymakers appear at odds and traders have all but given up on a hike this year.

Wall Street ended flat on Friday, but gains midweek helped the three major indexes post their best week in 2016.

Crude oil is hovering near $30 a barrel, levels last seen in 2003. Tepid demand for energy is being seen as a sign of weakness in the global economy as growth stalls.

Investors are also weighing the impact of a potential wave of defaults from energy companies on the financial sector. The S&P financial sector .SPNY has been the worst performer among the 10 major sectors, falling 12.2 percent this year.

Shares of Perrigo (PRGO.N) were down 1.2 percent premarket after Goldman Sachs cut its rating on the stock to “sell”.

Fitbit (FIT.N) was up 4.4 percent at $16.29 ahead of its results later in the day.

Futures snapshot at 6:47 a.m. ET:
* Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were up 188 points, or 1.15 percent, with 27,169 contracts changing hands.

* S&P 500 e-minis ESc1 were up 22.25 points, or 1.16 percent, with 208,675 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 were up 52.25 points, or 1.26 percent, on volume of 26,264 contracts.
Abhiram Nandakumar & Yashaswini Swamynathan; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty – Reuters

About the Author