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US pre-open: Futures higher following last week's sell-off

(Sharecast News) - Wall Street futures were in the green ahead of the bell on Monday as market participants strapped in for the beginning of corporate earnings season. As of 1245 BST, Dow Jones futures were up 0.31%, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures had the indices opening 0.44% and 0.54% higher, respectively.

The Dow closed 34.51 points lower on Friday as investors digested earnings from a number of big-name US banks.

Trade Nation's David Morrison said: "US stock index futures have steadied this morning following Friday's nasty sell-off. At the end of last week, all the majors posted significant losses and closed near their respective lows for the session.

"Investors went into the weekend worried about an escalation in Middle Eastern tensions. Iran had signalled its intention to respond to Israel's fatal attack on one of its diplomatic buildings in Syria. On Saturday, Iran launched an attack via a torrent of drones and missiles, most of which were shot down. While Iran may see this as a straightforward 'tit-for-tat' response, that's not the way Israel sees it. While Iran signalled its intentions and can argue its response was 'measured', there's no doubt this is a serious escalation."

On the macro front, the NY Empire State manufacturing index fell to -20.9 in March, down from -2.4 in February and significantly worse than forecasts for a reading of -7. Demand softened as new orders declined to -17.2 and shipments dropped to -6.9.

Elsewhere, retail sales were up 0.6% month-on-month in February, according to the Census Bureau, following an upwardly revised 1.1% fall in January but below market forecasts for a 0.8% increase and suggesting a potential slowdown in consumer spending.

Still to come, February business inventory data and the NAHB's housing market index will be out at 1500 BST.

In the corporate space, Tesla shares traded lower after news broke that the electric vehicle manufacturer will lay off roughly 10% of its workforce on the back of falling global sales.

Reporting by Iain Gilbert at Sharecast.com

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Important information: This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to one of Fidelity’s advisers or an authorised financial adviser of your choice. When you are thinking about investing in shares, it’s generally a good idea to consider holding them alongside other investments in a diversified portfolio of assets. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.

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