NEW YORK (Reuters) – Stock index futures jumped on Monday, signaling a strong open on Wall Street, as investors were relieved to see Hurricane Irene caused less damage than feared in New York City over the weekend.
The New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq will operate as normal, although volumes were expected to be thin since many commuter rail and bus lines were shut down and the New York City subway system was slowly returning to service after being closed down.
S&P 500 futures rose 12.7 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures gained 104 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures put on 21.5 points.
Investors appeared to brush aside a call by the new head of the International Monetary Fund for global policymakers to pursue urgent action to prevent another recession, including forcing European banks to bulk up their capital.
IMF Chief Christine Lagarde called for a “mandatory substantial recapitalization,” through private channels if possible, but otherwise through some form of public, Europe-wide funding, such as the European Financial Stability Facility.
On the macro side, investors awaited monthly personal income and consumption data at 8:30 a.m. EDT (1230 GMT), and pending home sales for July at 10:00 a.m. EDT. (1400 GMT)
Greek bank shares jumped after Reuters reported sources as saying EFG Eurobank and Alpha Bank would unveil a merger deal. U.S.-listed shares of National Bank of Greece soared 29.3 percent to $1.08 in premarket trade.
The dollar fell against a basket of major currencies on Monday, with traders speculating the U.S. Federal Reserve may offer more stimulus next month in the face of an uncertain growth outlook.
On Friday, Wall Street stocks posted their first weekly gain in more than a month as Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke raised hopes for more stimulus for the economy.
(Reporting by Angela Moon; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)
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