U.S. Stock Futures Advance on Labor Day as Emerging-Market Risks Linger

U.S. equity futures closed higher on Monday, diverging from a volatile international scene marked by trade tensions, Brexit controversy and emerging-market risks.

U.S. Stock Futures Finish Higher

Futures on the Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq finished higher in holiday-shortened trade. The Dow Jones mini futures contract rose 41 points to 26,029.00. S&P 500 futures for September gained 6.25 points to 2,908.28. The Nasdaq 100 mini futures jumped 20 points to 7,681.25.

Wall Street is coming off its best August in four years, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq surging to record highs. If history is any indication, September could be a difficult month for stocks as trading volumes return to normal following the summer lull period. Historically, September is the worst month for the S&P 500 Index going back to 1945.

The New York Stock Exchange was closed on Monday for Labor Day. Regular trading hours are set to resume Tuesday.

Emerging Markets Continue to Rumble

Argentina and Turkey continue to roil international markets, with developing nations in Asia and Latin America feeling the shock waves. Argentina was back in the headlines Monday after the government announced new taxes on exports in an attempt to balance its budget in 2019.

“To cover the shortfall during this transition we are going to ask those who have the greatest ability to contribute to pay,” President Mauricio Macri said. “It is a failure to not reach a balanced budget. This isn’t any other crisis. It has to be our last one.”

Argentina’s peso has been caught in the cross hairs of political wrangling as Macri’s government contents with sky-high inflation, a historic draught and the world’s highest interest rate.

The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM), which is a proxy for developing nation stocks, rose 0.5% on Monday to $43.17. The index is down more than 8% this year and 17.1% from its peak on Jan. 26.

Cryptos Stabilize as Trade Volumes Fall

Cryptocurrencies held within a narrow range on Monday, as bitcoin continued to hold above a key technical support. The combined value of all cryptos in circulation reached $237 billion on Monday, down roughly $3 billion from the weekend high. Total trade volume on major exchanges fell 14% over 24 hours.

Bitcoin’s price fluctuated within a $124 range on Bitfinex, as volatility continued to recede. The leading digital currency by market cap peaked above $7,400 on Sunday for the first time in a month. Trade volumes on Monday amounted to $3.9 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.

Altcoins were mostly lower on Monday, though losses were generally contained to less than 2%. On the opposite side of the spectrum, Monero was the biggest gainer in the top-ten as XMR jumped 10.7% to $134. Monero received a boost last week after ICO advisers Satis Group tipped XMR as the best-performing cryptocurrency of the next ten years.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Chief Editor to Hacked.com and Contributor to CCN.com, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi

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