Futures Pointing To Roughly Flat Open On Wall Street

The major U.S. index futures are pointing to a roughly flat opening on Monday as traders may be reluctant to make any significant moves.

Traders may stick to the sidelines ahead of the release of earnings news from a number of big-name companies later this week.

Bank of America (BAC), Goldman Sachs (GS), UnitedHealth (UNH), IBM (IBM), American Express (AXP), Microsoft (MSFT), Visa (V), and General Electric (GE) are among the companies due to report their quarterly results this week.

Stocks moved mostly higher over the course of the trading session on Friday, extending the upward trend seen over the past several sessions. With the gains on the day, the Dow and the S&P 500 reached new record closing highs.

The major averages pulled back off their best levels going into the close but remained firmly positive. The Dow rose 84.65 points or 0.4 percent to 21,637.74, the Nasdaq advanced 38.03 points or 0.6 percent to 6,312.47 and the S&P 500 climbed 11.44 points or 0.5 percent to 2,459.27.

For the week, the Nasdaq surged up by 2.6 percent, while the Dow and the S&P 500 jumped by 1 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively.

The strength on Wall Street came following the release of several key economic reports, with the data suggesting that the Federal Reserve will not be in any hurry to raise interest rates.

Before the start of trading, the Commerce Department released a report showing retail sales unexpectedly decreased for the second consecutive month in June.

The Commerce Department said retail sales fell by 0.2 percent in June after edging down by a revised 0.1 percent in May. The continued drop in sales surprised economists, who had expected sales to inch up by 0.1 percent.

Excluding auto sales, retail sales still dipped by 0.2 percent in June following the 0.3 decline seen in May. Ex-auto sales were expected to rise by 0.2 percent.

A separate report released by the Labor Department showed consumer prices came in unchanged in the month of June.

The Labor Department said its…

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