US Markets

US stocks look to Fed minutes after holiday


U.S. stock index futures indicated a lower open on Monday, ahead of what looks like a quiet day as traders return to work after the Fourth of July holiday.

It comes after stocks marked last week with record-setting gains.

The Dow crossed the 17,000 level for the first time, and the S&P 500 set a string of records on its trek toward 2,000. The Dow had its best week since mid-April, gaining 1.3 percent to a record 17,068, and the S&P 500 was up 1.3 percent at 1,985. The Nasdaq was at a fresh 14-year high of 4,485 with a 2 percent gain, and the Russell 2000 rose 1.6 percent to a record 1,208.

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With no major economic data due for release Monday, markets will likely continue to digest last week's non-farm payrolls data and look ahead to minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's June meeting, due to be published Wednesday.

The publication will take on all the more significance after last week's closely-watched jobs data came in much stronger than expected.

"In a quiet week for U.S. economic data releases, the main U.S. event risk will likely be the release of the latest FOMC minutes from their meeting on the 17-18 June," said Lee Hardman, economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, in a morning note.

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"However, it is unlikely that the minutes will provide much further insight into the Fed's policy outlook on top of the already released statement, updated economic projections, and press conference by Fed Chair Yellen which followed their last meeting."

The first major reports of the second-quarter earnings season will begin this week, although no major companies will report on Monday. Alcoa results are due on Tuesday followed by Wells Fargo on Friday.

Meanwhile in Asia and Europe, stocks traded lower on Monday. German industrial production data was weaker than expected, with the index for May showing a fall in output of 1.8 percent month-on-month.

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Developments in Ukraine were back in focus after the Ukrainian army seized control of the town of Slaviansk over the weekend, previously occupied by pro-Russian rebels.

The mood was also cautious after International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde warned over the weekend that the pace of global growth may be weaker than expected in the second half of the year due to weak investment.