Futures fall as China data sours global mood

(Reuters) – The Dow and S&P 500 futures eased from record highs on Monday after underwhelming data from China, while focus was on the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s July meeting and economic data later this week to gauge the pace of a U.S. recovery.

FILE PHOTO: The New York Stock Exchange is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 16, 2021. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Economy-linked stocks led declines in early premarket trading.

Energy firms Halliburton Co, Exxon Mobil, Chevron Corp, Occidental Petroleum and Schlumberger NV were down between 0.7% and 1.1%, tracking crude prices lower after data showed economic activity slowed in China. [O/R]

The report, which indicated that COVID-19 outbreaks are crimping China, dented mood across global markets. Freeport-McMoRan, the world’s largest publicly traded copper producer, lost 1.8%.

The rapid spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19 has clouded market sentiment recently, with a survey last week showing U.S. consumer sentiment dropped sharply in early August to its lowest level in a decade.

Coronavirus cases in the United States rose by at least 37,024 on Sunday to a total of 36.85 million, according to a Reuters tally.

Cruise operators Royal Caribbean Group, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and Carnival Corp slipped between 0.8% and 2%. Delta Air lines Inc, United Airlines and American Airlines Group were down between 0.8% and 0.9% after gaining earlier this year on hopes of a stronger rebound in travel demand.

At 7:15 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 86 points, or 0.24%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 10.5 points, or 0.24%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 37.5 points, or 0.25%.

U.S. stocks managed to grind to new highs over the past few sessions as investor confidence in the economic recovery was bolstered by a strong earnings season, the passage of a large infrastructure bill and data showing inflation was rising at a slower pace than feared.

Earnings reports from companies including Target Corp, Walmart Inc, Home Depot Inc, Robinhood Markets Inc, Nvidia Corp and Macy’s Inc are due later this week.

Investors will be looking for clues as to when the Fed will start to taper its bond purchases from the minutes of its July meeting on Wednesday, while retail sales data will be released on Tuesday.

Tencent Music Entertainment Group fell 1.5% ahead of its results after market close as Soros Fund Management dissolved its stake in the Chinese music platform.

Rate-sensitive lenders Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Corp, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Wells Fargo & Co and Citigroup Inc fell between 0.5% and 0.8%. [US/]

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